THE PBA Homecourt held its maiden outing on Thursday by making surprise visits to three different barangays in Quezon City and Marikina.
Cage great Benjie Paras, Beau Belga of Rain or Shine, and Magnolia's Rodney Brondial accompanied league officials and staff led by Officer In-Charge Willie Marcial in visiting basketball courts in Barangay Marilag in Quezon City and Barangays Jesus dela Pena and Tanong in Marikina.
The three players mingled with fans and had their photos taken with them.
"Malaking bagay na napasaya natin sila lalo na yung mga bata na nakakita sila ng mga tunay na PBA players," said Paras, who volunteered to join the project as part of the league's Corporate Social Responsibilty (CSR) program under Marcial.
Belga and Brondial were made to do community work to lower the fines meted on them by the Office of the Commissioner.
Brondial was hit with a fine for making an obscene gesture on Magnolia teammate Robbie Herndon, which was caught on camera, while Belga was penalized for a double technical foul during the Elasto Painters' Philippine Cup game against TnT Katropa.
Both were elated by the experience of being able to give back to PBA fans.
"Masaya dahil na surprise namin 'yung mga bata at nabusog namin sila ng pagmamahal," said Brondial, who a number of times was mistaken for Kobe Paras by fans, much to the delight of the elder Paras.
"Siyempre iba yung feeling na sa ganoong kaliit na bagay napapasaya mo sila," added Belga.
The PBA team conducted shootarounds and gave souvenir items. Tickets to games were also distributed to select fans, while league stickers were attached to the basketball courts in the three barangays.
"Mas maganda kasi yung may element of surprise," said Marcial. "Initial pa lang naman ito. Who knows yung barangay ninyo naman ang susunod naming bibisitahin."
The league OIC said the PBA Homecourt is set every other Thursday or Saturday if no games are scheduled on those dates.