September 6, 2014 marks our second day of “practice” for our upcoming company event “DLympics”. It is our term to describe the company’s sports fest. Dlinkers (the business name) and Olympics combined – coined by the previous committee head Jenille.
We have allotted the weekend to do a little practice on some sports included in our activity. Iloilo Sports Complex is the venue we chose. While waiting for our other teammates to arrive, a group of little boys (probably on fourth to sixth grade) approached us to borrow our basketball. Prior to that, they were already playing the game using a volleyball ball and a deflated basketball. Funny as you may perceive it but that is the Pinoy “para-paraan” to play the game.
We lend them the ball and they happily started the game. What is at stake? Every member of the losing team shall pay 5 pesos to the members of the winning team. I counted them – they were 10, so that makes 5 each team – the required number of players in the game. Funny is, they do not have someone who will act as referee.
Imagine this: The one who toss the ball for jump ball is exactly the one who will battle for it. As he tossed the ball, he did not tap it – instead, he just grabbed it and hurriedly run to their basket. We were literally rolling on floor laughing at them.
As the game progressed, you really can’t see any rule being applied – well considering the fact that there is no acting referee to do it. They foul, travel, step into the line, did offensive foul, travel again, stepped into the baseline again, foul again but then they kept on playing – with no complaints on both parties. Well, there is just a little commotion on the scores. As the way I remembered their dialogues, it went this way:
Boy 1: 6 na ya amon score (Our score is already six points)
Boy 2: Paano nag 6 kay wala man to nagsulod? (The last basket was not counted and how come it added to your score?)
Boy 1: Goal teanding to mo! (It was a goal tending)
Boy 2: Ah ok.
Laugh. Laugh. Laugh. They continued the game. As they battle for every ball possession and launches the ball, they kept on imitating the country’s famous basketball announcers – saying the phrases like:
- Alapag for three, BANG!
- Fajardo inside, gets the basket may kasama pang foul!
- Jeff Chan for trey, YES SIR!
Surely our local players have earned the respect of the little gentlemen that even at tender hearts and young blood, they exactly know who they will look up to. They even kept on chanting PUSO, PUSO to the max.
Probably they already felt tired after running back and forth, they already ended the game with the scores 12 – 20, without free throws, without timeouts, without strategizing – all just pure fun, all just pure innocence.
From the shed to where I am watching, I am just one witness how Filipinos are passionate about this game. It requires no age; no gender; no walls – only the heart to play. Those little kiddos yesterday don’t even have the uniformed jerseys and played with slippers or with their bare foot. If we hadn’t arrived to their playground, they would still continue the game using that deflated ball; which can barely bounce. From the striking distance, I couldn’t help myself but to entertain the thought that from this bunch of energetic and playful hearts there is a great possibility that the next big name might come to represent the country in the world stage.