On July 22,2013, I was invited to witness LeBron James play basketball. In the Philippines everybody I assume would know this sport. From the streets filled with home made basketball hoops to recreational centers with basketball courts, this sport is close to every Filipino’s heart. The event was held in SM Mall of Asia Arena. The rainy afternoon was filled with basketball fans and of course people who would want to see LeBron play live which is a rare occasion to see. Most of the people are wearing their favorite basketball shoes, others have their LeBron James jersey or Nike shirts.
I got a chance to have a ticket to view the show in the lower box of the stadium, which I am thankful and blessed. The show started around 3PM, Jessica Mendoza and former San Beda basketball varsity Daniel Sudan hosted the first part of the show. They introduced the 16 and under Philippine team basketball players, the Smart Gilas and UAAP stars.
(Insert bball mini games with fans)
While waiting for LeBron James arrive at the stadium, there was 2 types mini games with a couple of rounds each so everyone in the team could play. Daniel randomly picks 2 players from UAAP or Smart Gilas and Jessica on the other hand randomly chooses the players from the 16 and under. The mini games were also joined with one lucky fan for every round. I really love how the event program made fans interact with their basketball idols.
After the mini games we have to wait for around 20-30 minutes approximately before they announced that LeBron James is in the building. Everything went dark, which means that LeBron James will now show up. But before the main event started, Boom Gonzales and Aaron Atayde started to hype the crowd, a 5-6 minute presentation was shown on the big screen then LeBron went out of the door. It was a very nice introduction and everyone in the crowd was screaming ‘MVP’. After a few introductions by LeBron James himself, they have started the basketball clinic for the Smart Gilas, UAAP stars and the Philippine team under 16, with the assistance and coaching of LeBron James. The funny thing was LeBron told the players to stop holding their cellphones and asked them to start playing with him. Seeing LeBron James interact with the players is a show to see since he is very active and he even joined the drills!
There was a one-quarter exhibition to end the basketball program, it was the Smart Gilas vs Team LeBron composed of UAAP stars and LeBron as their playing coach. The start was rough since Team LeBron is struggling to keep up with the Smart Gilas after a timeout . I have to say our local players played well with the NBA Pro! Props to them!
After a few minutes LeBron threw signed basketballs to the crowd but most of the time he handed it to the kids near the court-side. He definitely likes to inspire his fans especially the kids. One last remark and he said “thank you” to the audience then he left. But he told the crowd that he will be back. The show was worth it and was a heck of an experience. I would like to thank this event for inviting Juan Manila Express to the show!
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