Most Friday nights, I just stay home and play DotA with people around the world I don’t know. Tonight however was different, for I was in the Smart Araneta Coliseum together with 20,534 other people to watch game 6 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup. With B-Meg Llamados leading the series 3-2 against Talk ‘n Text Tropang Texters, it was a must win situation for Talk ‘n Text if they still want to play for the championship trophy.
To retell my experience, I’ll start with the start of it all, buying the ticket. Making the decision to watch the game on the same day it was held, I was expecting a bad seating area, but to my luck there were still a few tickets for the upper box A, which based on my pass experiences in the arena, isn’t that bad. I bought the tickets at the arena before noon after my final class at school, and with the game still starting at 6:45 pm, I decided to go home and rest for a while.
It was around 5 pm when I woke up from my sleep and it was raining hard that time, so I hurried to go to the arena, but because of the rain and that time being the rush hour, I arrived there 20 minutes before the game. Still having some time, I decided to eat a dinner and having the Pinoy Time idea in my mind, I thought the game wouldn’t start on time, so I decided to eat slow and walk slow to the arena entrance. While walking to the entranced, I happened to pass by and saw the screen at the ticket booth, and to my amazement, only general admission tickets were left, which means that the arena is really packed up. There were also rich Talk ‘n Text fans near the entrance giving away shirts to support the team, which really amazed me because it was free, and they trusted the one’s they give the shirt to are really fans not just people wanting a shirt. There were also group of youths near the entrance without tickets, trying to buy one hopefully from someone with an extra.
So I finally entered the arena, I was however wrong about the Pinoy Time. The game started on time, so by the time I entered the big dome, all seats were occupied, and other fans were already standing, which also became my fate. Me not being a fan of PBA, decided to pick a random side to stand as long as I have a good view. After I found my spot, which was right between the B-Meg and Talk ‘n Text fans, the first thing I noticed was that 80% percent of the arena was packed with white shirted B-Meg fans, while 20% was of the yellow shirted Talk ‘n Text fans sitting together on one side. Questions ran thru my mind like if the Talk ‘n Text players will be intimidated by the number of eyes in the arena rooting for the other team. When the introduction of the starting five of each team started, the B-Meg fans clearly dominated the dome in rooting for their team, while those of the Talk ‘n Text were barely even heard, because most of them consisted of the older age group.
The tip-off started and for the first quarter, every time a player scores, the fans of the team will go wild. I however noticed that whenever the Tropang Texters miss a shot or fail a dunk, the B-Meg fans start laughing and booing the players, some even call the players stupid. This is probably because most of the B-Meg fans are of a younger age and haven’t learned the meaning of true sportsmanship, unlike those of Talk ‘n Text who remain silent in whatever B-Meg players and fans do, and only cheer when their team scores. There was also a group of around 50 old aged people seated together that stood up the whole quarter cheering for the Tropang Texters. But maybe because of the number of fans cheering for their team, the Llamados dominated the first quarter scoring 27 points giving them an 8 point lead against the Tropang Texters scoring only 19 points.
The story of the second quarter was however different. The fans of B-Meg seeing the performance of both teams in the first quarter, had great confidence that the Llamados will dominate the game until the end, so the fans didn’t cheer as much as the first quarter. The Tropang Texters’ fans however didn’t stop believing on their players, especially the group of old aged people as they continued standing during the second quarter. The second quarter started with the Llamados dominating, but then the Tropang Texters started catching fire shooting 3 points as if they were layups. With few minutes left until half-time, the scores became close and the B-Meg fans were starting to fear that the game might go the other way for their team, so they decided to start cheering again, but it was too late. The Tropang Texters happily entered the locker room with a 2 point lead over the Llamados.
The third quarter started and the situation of the fans came back like the first quarter, but it was too late for the B-Meg fans to cheer for their team, because the Tropang Texters were already on fire so shots just keep on going in. The game then continued on with the Tropang Texters extending their lead to a bigger margin. With 1 minute left in the game, the Tropang Texters already had around a 10 point lead, so the B-Meg fans called it quits, and more than half of the arena was empty before the game even ended. The Talk ‘n Text fans were obviously happy of the result and they stayed until the end of the game. The game ended with the Tropang Texters winning 92-82, giving them a shot to win the championship trophy. What the B-Meg fans disregarded was that miracles can happen in basketball games. Just like in December 9, 2004, Tracy McGrady scored 13 points in 35 seconds which lead to his team winning the game with a 1 point lead. But what are the chances of that happening right?
I, even not being a PBA fan, enjoyed watching this game. I can really relate to the lesson where society creates us because at the start, seeing the number of fans, I started cheering for the Llamados. However, after the half-time, because of the lead of the Tropang Texters, I started to root for their team instead. In the end of it all, the thing that really amazed me was that the group of old people really stood up cheering the entire game, whether leading or trailing, even when they could have been seating. This just shows how much they are really fans to the team. Compared also to the NBA where there are home court advantages, there are none in PBA, so the number of fans watching in the arena is what makes the players feel they have the upper hand. However, teams still loose even when they have the court advantage, just like what happened in this game.
Joshua Marquez -Lim
SA 21 J