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NBA Legends Basketball Game in Manila Philippines with Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman

 

 

 

When in Manila you’re probably a huge basketball fan and it’s either because you love playing the game or that you had a father or brother who loves watching basketball. Basketball is to my mind still the number one sport in the country.

 

Last July 18, 2012, Filipino fans were treated by the Professional Basketball Alumni Association (PBAA) to an exhibition match between American All-Stars against past Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) greats.

 

 

NBA Legends Basketball Game in Manila Philippines Scottie Pippen Dennis Rodman WhenInManila (10)

 

 

The American All-Stars were led by one of the 50 greatest players Scottie Pippen, co-Hall of Famer Dennis “The Worm” Rodman, 2006 NBA Champion Jason “The White Chocolate” Williams, 6th Man of the Year awardee and sweet shooting forward Clifford Robinson and NBA star Mitch Richmond. The team was coached by the legendary triple double machine Oscar “The Big-O” Robertson.  Accompanying the team was PBAA President Charles Smith – the former New York Knick.

 

 

NBA Legends Basketball Game in Manila Philippines with Scottie Pippen Dennis Rodman (1)

 

 

Their Filipino counterparts were :  Jerry “The Defense Minister” Cordinera, former PBA MVP Kenneth Duremdes, 1996 PBA Grand Slam Champions Jojo Lastimosa and Bong “The Hawk” Hawkins, good looking and sweet shooting Vince “The Prince” Hizon, fan favorites Bal David, Marlou Aquino, Noli “The Tank” Locsin and EJ Feihl, also with the team is Nelson “The Bull” Asaytono.

 

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I bought tickets for the game for two, I’m going with my girlfriend as this would serve as our 33th monthsary celebration. I was supposed to purchase tickets to the Patron with meet and greet,  however this was sold out as early as June. So unfortunately I had to settle with Patron and hope for the best. I am a very big Dennis Rodman fan ever since, I wore his shoe and jersey, I read his books and I follow him whenever I could through the net, tv shows and news. I really wanted to see him up close in person, get his autograph and perhaps shake his hand but without those tickets – good luck to me!

 

 

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When you believe, miracles really do happen, my good friend Vince Golangco was set to host the Press Conference for the All-Star Challenge event. He notified me and then suddenly, my spirit went sky high. So on THE DAY, I brought my vintage Dennis Rodman – Bulls jersey and his book,I dressed like “media” and acted as if I was really part of the press con.

 

 

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Vince told me before the press con that he wasn’t really sure if I could get those signed, and during the press con – Autograph signing was prohibited. My dream was shattered but told myself at least I got to see Rodman in person. When it was all over, all I can do was stand and glance at him, walking through the door with security personnel all over him. That day, I drove like crazy from Manila to San Juan then to MOA Arena for the chance to get him sign my book. So when I got the chance, I summoned all the courage in me to approach him, the security personnel pushed me but when he reached out his hand for my pen and book a smile was all over my face. This is it! Dennis Rodman signed my book, I shook his hand and I was the happiest guy on earth.

 

 

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My friend DJ Vince Golangco of Mellow947 and EIC of WhenInManila.com hosting the NBA Legends press conference and their mall tour.

 

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Game Day : I went to the MOA Arena with my girlfriend happy, proud and somewhat cocky as I tell her my story. But there’s something I wasn’t able to accomplish that press conference day, I wasn’t able to get Dennis Rodman sign my jersey.

 

 

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The game wasn’t as competitive as supposed on how it should be played. Well, this is an exhibition game and not competition. Mitch Richmond can still knock down those threes he used to make during his stint with the Warriors and Kings. Pippen had a couple of dunks, and Jason Williams showed his superb dribbling ability (then stretches his arm and points to my girlfriend who is an avid fan) and Rodman hit a few jumpers of his own.  The night’s highlight wasn’t seen in the game but was the moment when Dennis Rodman acknowledged the presence of his father whom he hasn’t seen in 42 years.

 

 

  NBA Legends Basketball Game in Manila Philippines Scottie Pippen Dennis Rodman WhenInManila (4)

 

 

After the game, the video would speak for itself. My girlfriend ran down the court with my Dennis Rodman jersey on but really wanted to ask for Jason Williams’ jersey and signature. Unfortunately for her and fortunately for me, she got Dennis to sign my jersey TWICE and a kiss.

 

 

 

 

Story by Jackson Ong 

Photos by WhenInManila.com photographers Martin Chua and Lawrence Pagan

Video by Rochele Anne Aujero of RoanneAujero.com

 

 

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NBA Legends Basketball Game in Manila Philippines with Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman