there used to be a time when all filipinos cared about was basketball. the PBA was on a high and everybody was part of the barangay. barangay ginebra, that is. those who are not ginebra fans are either employees of the other teams who gave them free tickets or just wanted to be "different" and mini-miny-moed on a list of pba teams.
years later and the hashtag #AzkalsVsGalaxy become a worldwide trending topic. i would not bet a year's salary for a #GinebraVsLakers hashtag becoming a trending topic in the near future. now every filipino is into football. all the haters are either bored by the game or again just want to be "different" and go against the flow.
the capacity crowd at the rizal stadium made the PBA game look like a chess match. where did all the die hard basketball fans go? the barangay still exists as they pack up the venues every time the gin kings reach the playoffs regardless of who is dons the jersey. their cheers belong to kings while the jeers go to anyone who isn't. the jaworski days are gone but the ginebra spirit remains.
with the azkals only time will tell of this is only a fad. will the screaming ladies buy the ridiculously expensive tickets had the younghusbands go play somewhere else? do they even know the names of the other players?
i really don't know and i really don't care. i'm just happy for the national team getting so much attention, so much hype. and that is saying a lot coming from a guy who for years couldn't understand what the fuzz was about football. it bored me to sleep. but not anymore. i now understand how people enjoyed the game. and i now understand why some fans would start riots because of football. it's not actually far from the barangay loyals inciting ruckus, verbally abusing fans of the opposition. in a funny way of course.
now if only i could understand cricket...