Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valley of the Sun

I started this blog about a year ago after the New Orleans All Stars.  Many posts later, it's still going..... so it's been a year!

The Phoenix All Stars didn't have the normal extravagance compared to the others this decade.  In fact it had a toned down atmosphere.  Not as much merchandising within the city and hotels.  Transportation, food, and facilities were not as readily available.

The Rookie/Sophomore had its moments and the Slam Dunk contest on Saturday was pretty entertaining.  The All Star game actually had more than its share of serious moments where the players actually came to play rather than goof around.  I worked the game with Vitto Lazatin and although I've watched more entertaining games before, it was still a of fun doing the coverage.

The annual media pickup game was joined by Spurs player Roger Mason who obliged by having a nice conversation about his road to being an NBA player after being a Euroleague star.  Boris Diaw joined a few years back while Tim Hardaway played with us last year.  Spud Webb and BJ Armstrong were the other two from the last few years I've been involved as international media during the Allstars.

As with previous Allstar games, our broadcast position was once again right at courtside and beside a lot of the personalities who attended.  Seated right in front of us were Eva Longoria, Senator John McCain, and Spike Lee.  There were others whose names escape me but I do recognize them from various shows.  Beyonce was seated in the same row although on the other half of the sideline.

Overall, it was still very enjoyable for any basketball fan but if you've gone to the others from the last few years, you will notice that the league was more careful in this one as far as expenses were concerned.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One For the Ages

In most cases, game 7's of any series does not end up delivering in the pre game hype.  It's hard to imagine how a game with so much at stake can live up to the expectations of fans of being one of the best ever.  It happened Wednesday night.

I was more than happy when my boss postponed my trip to Phoenix for some pressing matters at work which gave me the chance to cover the 7th game as the television anchor with Norman Black as the analyst, Dominic Uy, Patricia Hizon, and Ceska Litton as the courtside reporters.  (Thanks to Ceska for the pic from the production room)  It was a first for me to cover the last game of the PBA Finals and it was "awesome".

As a commentator and a fan, I really was in "awe" watching the two teams combine talent and heart on their way to a masterpiece.  Well, sans the last possession(s) of Alaska, it was as good as it gets for the PBA.  The coaching was excellent.  The officiating was consistent.  The players were at the top of their game.  The fans were cheering in full force.  No Ginebra nor Purefoods, the two most popular teams and yet still a blockbuster with ratings and attendance that made Commissioner Barrios smile from ear to ear.

Congratulations to the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters!