FOR Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao, the Golden State Warriors’ NBA title conquest has, once again, proof that basketball is a team sport and will always be won by the best team.
“The best team won and the best team happens to be the Golden State Warriors,” the eight-division world champion said, a day after the team from the Bay Area beat the Cavaliers, 129-120, in at the Oracle Arena to win its second NBA championship in three years.
“Sa panalo ng Warriors, muli na naman nilang napatunyan na sila pa rin ang pinakamagaling na basketball team sa buong daigdig, bagay na nauna nilang ipinakita noong 2015 at maging last year, when they set a now NBA-record 73 victories,” the Warriors fan added.
“Actually, this could have been their third straight had Steph (Curry) been healthy and Draymond (Green) not suspended,” Pacquiao, looking back at last year's finals when the Dubs blew a 3-1 lead against LeBron James and Co.
Basketball-crazy Filipino fans, Pacquiao noted, should also feel happy with the Warriors title triumph, citing several events in the past linking Golden State and the Philippines.
“Doon sa mga hindi nakakaalam, ang Golden State ang nagbigay ng parangal sa Pilipinas when it introduced its annual Filipino Heritage Week as a tribute to our countrymen’s support to the team,” the now 38-year-old senator recalled. “The NBA itself adopted the program this year.”
It was also at Golden State where the first-ever Filipino-American NBA player, Raymond Townsend, rose to fame. Townsend was, in fact, honored by the team in this year’s celebration of the Filipino Heritage Week.
“I’m happy, too, for KD (Kevin Durant) for winning his first NBA championship with the Finals MVP honor pa and to the other role players na nanalo rin sa wakas ng korona. ” Pacquiao said.
Local basketball’s living legend Robert Jaworski, fellow cage great Jimmy Mariano and Mahindra assistant coach Chris Gavina echoed Pacquiao’s observations.
“This championship could have been their third if Green was not suspended (last year) and Curry and (Andrew) Bogut not injured.”
“Relatively, the personalities, the characters and settings involved make a lot of difference in this year’s campaign,” Jaworski noted in reference to KD’s acquisition.
Raymod Yu, owner of the Rain Or Shine squad in the PBA, foresees a Golden State dynasty.
“More to come,” Yu predicted.
“Talaga namang lamang na lamang ang Warriors as a team,” Mariano. skipper of the Philippine team that won the Asian championship in 1973 where Jaworski also saw action, said. “Player-wise, they’re Level 1 sa player movement and bench production.”