DeMar DeRozan vs Doug Kramer in Manila – a Fully Loaded Shootout!
When in Manila, you’ll be seeing a LOT of NBA stars dropping by our country this month! The first wave of NBA players have arrived this week in the form of the high-flying Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan and the athletic Los Angeles Lakers forward, Wesley Johnson. Both men dropped by Manila for the NBA 3X event. DeRozan, however, was also in Manila to square off against the PBA’s own Doug Kramer in a ‘FULLY LOADED’ shootout at KFC.
DeMar and Doug preparing for the Fully Loaded Shootout!
The stage was set at the KFC Mall of Asia branch as PBA’s Doug Kramer captained Team KFC against DeMar DeRozan’s Team NBA. The little NBA fan in me was pretty amped up to cover this event. Another reason why I was so hyped to go here was the chance to meet DeMar DeRozan in person. Ever since I saw him in his rookie year (and the countless times my brother used the Raptors on the NBA 2K series and have DeMar shoot over or dunk on my defenders repeatedly…), I knew the guy would have a bright future. Fast forward to the 2013-2014 NBA season and DeMar sent the young Raptors team to their first playoff appearance since 2008. Now that’s a rising star for sure! But enough about me going all ‘fan boy’ for DeMar, we’ll likely save that for a future WIM Podcast episode.
Doug Kramer and DeMar DeRozan posing for the cameras
DeMar DeRozan and Doug Kramer with Slamson!
But before we talk about the main event, there was an in-store competition for 8 teams who were vying to go for either Team KFC or Team NBA. We witnessed the semi-final and final rounds of the KFC Fully Loaded Shootout and from 8 teams, 2 teams stood out and were the chosen to pair up with either DeMar DeRozan or Doug Kramer for the main showdown.
DeMar DeRozan Smiles During the Q&A Portion
The Fully Loaded Shootout event also had a brief Q&A segment for both Doug and DeMar. One notable question that was asked to DeMar was about Team Gilas and their chances for the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup this month and the FIBA World Cup in August. He said that the team’s ‘hunger’ for the world stage will be their biggest advantage and can keep them energized throughout the FIBA World Cup. Aside from that, however, he did note that they should have fun and bask in the experience of playing international ball.
The winner of the KFC Fully Loaded Shootout = TEAM KFC!
The main event happened and in the end, it was Team KFC who won the KFC Fully Loaded shootout! The winners and the rest of the competitors had a photo op with DeMar, Doug and the Sacramento Kings mascot, Slamson the Lion! Seconds after the main photo op, we saw some of the guests taking a few selfies’ with Doug and DeMar.
A couple of eager fans taking a couple of ‘selfies’ with DeMar DeRozan
Doug Kramer poses for the camera
Before the event wrapped up, I had an opportunity to ask DeMar for an autograph, but I was still nervous as heck. I took a deep breath and with all the courage I could muster, approached the Toronto Raptors star with my card and pen. I handed my card and pentel pen towards his direction before I meekly asked, “Hi DeMar, may I have your autograph?”. The moment felt like an eternity as I feared he might decline and just grab a ball..and dunk over me since the hoop was nearby. The moment ‘un paused’ once he took the card agreed to sign it. It would be a gross understatement for me to say that I was jumping for joy inside after that happened (that and the fact he DID NOT dunk over me was also awesome).
Thanks a bunch, DeMar! :D
At the end of the day, it was a fantastic feeling to have met DeMar DeRozan in person and to get an autograph from him was even more awesome. Doug Kramer, on the other hand, was a stand up person. Doug was 100% game to have photo-ops with his fans and the crew during event. It was also heart warming to see the rest of Team Kramer playing ball before the shootout.
DeMar signing the t-shirt for a lucky fan
When in Manila would like to give a shout out to the people of KFC MOA as well as PIAA-Digital Events for inviting us to this epic shootout between Team KFC and Team NBA. As an NBA fan, this was one feature I will never forget. And to my fellow hoops fans, this month will be awesome since there will be MORE NBA stars dropping by Manila before July ends. But hey, you already know that! ;)