The Philippines makes its belated appearance here on TDS, thanks to Abbie. Great stuff from you folks, as always. And by the way, I apologize for being such a recluse these last few weeks. True, nothing has been going on in the news, but I think I can manage to do a roster breakdown and reveal my initial expectations of this season to everyone sooner or later. Maybe we'll see a post of that sort in a few days - who knows? Send in your submissions to the global quest for Rockets fans. We'd like as many as possible in order to see where all of you guys are coming from. Send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them here.
Name: Abbie (RoxBeliever)
When it comes to sports, Filipinos are crazy about 3 B's-basketball, boxing, and billiards (IMO in that order). We are home to Asia's first professional basketball league (established in 1975). Though our tallest players only reach 6'8" or 6'9", our height limitations don't prevent us from emulating the NBA style of play rather than the international style which probably suits us better.
Basketball has the right blend of individualism within a team concept. It just clicks in our psyche, so much so that at the height of our professional league's popularity in the late 80's to early 90's, the Filipino fan's devotion to basketball was being described as akin to a "religion" by local observers.
We used to be among the top teams in Asia, that is, until China came along and the other national teams got stronger. With our losses on the international scene, interest in our own professional league suffered. The devotion, however, switched to our college basketball scene and of course, the NBA. We have a cable channel exclusively for basketball 24/7.
Here Filipino basketball fans are crazy about Kobe (as of this writing, he's actually here for his 3rd Manila visit) and the Lakers, Kevin Garnett and the Celtics, Lebron James, and Dwyane Wade. I know there are Filipino fans of the Rockets (I believe even in this forum), they're just not very vocal.
I got hooked on basketball because of my brothers. I've been a fan of different NBA teams-from Wes Unseld's Baltimore Bullets (that's how far back I go) to Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers to Dwayne Wade's Miami Heat during their 2006 championship run. I started taking notice of the Rockets in the middle of their improbable 22-game winning streak last year. I had heard that Yao Ming had been sidelined with an injury and yet they kept right on winning. I guess I love underdogs and feel-good stories. Their gutsy play coupled with fantastic writing by the Houston columnists, I guess, sealed the deal. [editor's note: I'm assuming none of this "fantastic writing" was produced by a certain someone whose name rhymes with "schmustice."]
Who are my favorite players? The whole team. I like whoever gets toplay on the team. I am even a fan of our coach Rick Adelman. If I have to mention names, I guess it would have to be T-Mac because his game during that win streak caught my eye; Luis Scola for his steadiness; Shane Battier for his basketball IQ; and of course, Yao Ming for being the quintessential star who doesn't act like a star (so refreshing). Also the fact that I'm half-Chinese . . .
The NBA merchandise here is dominated by the Lakers and Celtics, but I once saw a guy wearing a t-shirt with a Rockets logo. I just didn't get a chance to ask where he got it. I don't have any Rockets merchandise. However, would owning a copy of "The Year of the Yao" count? [possibly]
Thanks to Abbie for sending this in. Keep it up, Rockets fans!