Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Forthe love of the Game... that got cancelled

Basketball. Of all the sports we know, this is the one that associates more with Filipinos. Every corner in every place, wether its in the city or in the rural areas, in the high end subdivisions and exclusive villages to the slums, you can find a basketball court. There's something in this game that make our spirits soar. Something that we did not found in Football even with its "Go for Gold" campaign in the 80's, or in other individual game sports like tennis or Badminton. Maybe it's because of the affordability of playing the sports that Filipinos rooted to it, or maybe it's just the sheer adrenaline playing or watching it. Whatever it is, We are mad about it. We are the first on Asia who stablished a professional league. We have several basketball associations in the country comprised with teams of their own, and we religiously watch the games on TV if ever we don't have that great chance of watching our favourite team live in the flesh either in cuneta Astrodome or in Araneta's big dome, or in the Universities and colleges where UAAP and NCAA leagues are fought.

Back in the Philippines, I was one of the millions who constantly watch my team's every game. Being a hardliner Ginebra fan, I joyed with their triumphs and cried whenever they're slughtered in the hardcourt.
I also followed them in the international scene especially during Tim Cone's Centennial Team era. And even now, when i'm already living overseas, i still watch reruns of plays thru TFC and continually looking for news and results of the games back home. And boy did I waited anxiously for the SEA games. It will be played in the Philippines and i knew that basketball will be the Philippines' main showcase. Well, that until the news came:

Under the statutes and rules of the SEAG Federation, the host country’s National Sports Association (NSA) is the only entity mandated to organize and stage the sport it represents in the SEA Games. At the moment, the NSA for basketball as recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) by virtue of a vote from its General Assembly is the Philippine Basketball Federation (PBF).

Unfortunately, the PBF is not recognized by the Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) as its country affiliate. FIBA recognizes the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) instead. Because of this conflict, FIBA has suspended the Philippines from participating in any of its sanctioned competitions, including the SEA Games. Bacause of this, there will be no basketball competition this coming sea games in Manila.

It's just ironic that the sports that filipinos are madly in love with and with the greatest chance to have gold (like before) won't be played in our own turf. It's just like a kid celebrationg a big birthday part without a party cake. I personally think it's not fair. Not to me. Heck i'm in Singapore anyway and can't see any of those live. It's not fair to the millions of filipinos living in the Philippines who are always on their hometeam's back. The games would certainly be a good venue to channel personal frustrations about the still growing povert rate, upscaling prices of goods and gasoline and the virtually unending military rift in my homeland in the south.

I'm just sad. Maybe these are all technicalities and the officials involved are just exercising the best for the games, but you cannot really tell that to the commonman who feels he has been robbed.