The PBA in Cebu is hot? Yes and No

Last night, I watched San Miguel Beer come-from-behind to beat Red Bull Barako, 98-93, in a PBA game at the Cebu Coliseum.

The game was hot!

Sitting inside the Cebu Coliseum felt like you were being cooked inside a La Germania oven. It was that hot. And they said it had air-conditioning? I’ve been to both venues and must say, though it’s smaller, the Mandaue Coliseum is better: you don’t have to sweat as much as Olsen Racela.

The San Miguel-Red Bull game? It wasn’t hot. The stadium wasn’t 75 percent full. The Lower and Upper Box bleachers were crowded but in the General Admission section, it was mostly vacant. The game itself was unexciting. Maybe because Don-Don Hontiveros (who’s with the RP National team) wasn’t playing. And isn’t Don-Don the Cebuano Idol of this land, ever since the days of the Cebu Gems?

The game lacked the moments when your palm would turn moist, when your neck will loom out and your eyes enlarge, when your heart pumped 128 times per 60 seconds.

The part when the crowd got most excited? No, not during the game. But during break time when T-shirts were hurled via slingshot to the hungry and sweaty Cebuanos.

Now. Was this a PBA game or a carnival?

The Philippine Basketball Association, in my opinion, has to reinvent itself. Popularity has dwindled. Fans no longer scream as loud. The game has to regain its dribble.

Cebu City Councilor and most-bemedalled coach Yayoy Alcoseba (right) with Patrick Gregorio, the man groomed to head the Samahang Basketbol Pilipinas (SBP)-BAP

John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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