CLEVELAND - Like most Filipinos, Sherwin Escoton is a huge basketball fan. He loves the Cleveland Cavaliers and his favorite player is no surprise.
"Sino pa ba? Siyempre LBJ," he told SPIN.ph (Who else? Of course its LeBron James.) "Filipinos are (basketball) fanatics and are so supportive of the teams they root for."
Along with a female partner, Sherwin came all the way from Koronadal City, South Cotabato to watch his first NBA game at the Quicken Loans Arena where his beloved Cavaliers hosted the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday night (Sunday morning, Manila time).
Here in the US as a tourist, Escoton''s travel itinerary included stops in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. He made sure to go through Cleveland as well, paying $290 for his seat at Section C. It was worth every penny as the Cavs pulled a breath-taking 105-103 victory to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Somewhere down the road when Sherwin tells his grandkids about his first visit to America, he will definitely recall LeBron's game-winner with more gusto than seeing the Statue of Liberty, strolling on sunshine in Holly and walking the streets of San Francisco.
THE DOCTOR IS IN THE HOUSE. Makati City native Dr. Ferdimac Emmanuel Q. Manansala, who works at St. Luke's Hospital (occupational medicine), was among the 20,562 fans at the Q. In between study time while preparing for his pharmacy licensure exam, Doc Ferdimac took a breather and drove the two hours-plus from Columbus, Ohio to downtown Cleveland.
Joined by his brother, Christian Emmanuel, who is in the IT industry, the brothers shelled a cool $100 each for their seats at Section 231.
"The Cavs will win this one for sure. It will be a 4-0 sweep over the Raptors on the way to the NBA Finals. No doubt!" Christian said before tip-off.
FROM LAGUNA WITH LOVE. Eric Ramos traveled with his friends from San Francisco to watch his first Cavaliers game. Perched at level 110, where he dropped $250 for a seat,
Originally from Pagsanjan, Laguna before coming to America in 1969, Ramos told SPIN.ph, "I'm so excited to see the best player in the planet in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. We're going to win tonight. After that, we will sweep the Warriors. The Cavs will score over 100 while the Raptors will score in the 90s."
Eric's final tally was a little off, but the final outcome was spot on. And it sure looks likes a sweep right now.
Sherwin, Eric and the Manansala brothers are another testament to the fact that we Filipinos do love our basketball and will travel far to support our favorite players and teams.