It seems surreal watching the game of Alaska Aces against Talk n Text just recently on TV when the night before I am surreptitiously trying to waist hug them while channeling a “smize” for a pix perfect me. For a mere spectator like me, they looked untouchable playing like the esteemed athletes that they are on TV. The thought that a night previously I was brushing shoulders with these hoopsters, stars of one of the most competitive teams in the PBA league, bemused me. What more luck can possibly befall a confessed basketball newbie like me?
I cannot stand watching the last dying minutes of the game where both teams contest for a shot point lead. I felt bad that Cyrus Baguio missed his floater that could have won them the game. And how about the heartthrob of a player Aldrech Ramos (this I knew of from TeeJay, my running friend who is a fan, though looking at him is enough proof) right close to me in a bright red sweater making him look cuter. Well I have realized how the team relied not on his looks, though it helped attract more team followers, but on his height and athletic agility! When before I couldn’t care less when Dondon Hontiveros missed not only one but 2 free throws which could have spelled the winning (in this case the losing margin), this time around I instantly changed channel for I became so affected.
This 360 change in my perspective of the sport happened courtesy of the Alaska Aces iOS app media launch at the Empire Ice Bar located at the Fort Strip of Bonifacio Global City that I attended as a blogger. All members of the team, including head coach Mr. Luigi Trillo and the assistant coaches one of whom I can identify as the noted basketball player himself, Mr. Alex Compton. There we were all at my reach (despite the height discrepancy, that is) like I was in the same court trying to play ball with them! Talk about how this single night of mingling with them changed how I view the game in a different, more personal perspective!
I came to the event with my co-fab diva blogger friend Ivan (fabmonarchrunner) and some of my running blogger friends. No less than the dashing debonaire ceo of alaska corp, Mr. Steven Uytengsu, was there to officially present the very first PBA team app to be made available not only to the adoring Gatas Rep fans but to all who, as of this time, have iPhones (unfortunately, not including me!). The hosts for this occasion standing atop the bar table were Angel and the team captain himself, Tony dela Cruz who is a looker himself despite his imposing height. Some liquor was served and which Ivan consumed a glass of while I contented myself with pineapple juice – no alcoholic beverage for me tonight! Getting all warmed up with his shot, he became more fearless in approaching the seemingly imposing but very friendly “giants” for some souvenir pictures. This I also took advantage of as I was the one taking his picture to be able to pose with them myself! Thanks Ivan, er Scotch, I might say.
The event was short but very upbeat as the players, which I will know upon watching the sports channel, will have a game the following night. For us bloggers, the night would not end so soon. We took the opportunity to bond more over sumptuous club sandwiches and pastas with some garnishing of delectable running community “chismis” over at Wicked Flour just a block away from the strip. This restaurant is an ever-growing favorite of many after having been featured in a tv show (as one blogger informed me) and which I personally came to experience, or taste, why. A commendable eating spot for those with discernible palates as the food was divine (well at least for the ham and brie sandwich that I ordered, at least) with each ingredient coming off as fresh and top class. After all of us were gastronomically and “curiosity” satisfied, we called it a very eventful day and went home with more than just the loot and the food but the chika as well!