AS expected, pandemonium broke out at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum when the PBA’s most popular ballcub teamed up with one of the country’s most popular actresses during the kick-off of the league’s 39th season on Sunday afternoon.
Barangay Ginebra had no less than the sultry Marian Rivera for its muse during the simple opening ceremony of the league’s new season that also saw two other games held in different venues in Cebu and Davao.
Wild cheers greeted the Kings when they paraded on court with the actress once named by FHM magazine as the sexiest woman alive in the country.
For Marian, the second time is definitely a charm.
“Second time ko na ito,” she disclosed to Spin.ph, recalling that she also served as Talk `N Text muse back in 2007.
“Pero mas ibang experience ito kaysa una,” Rivera said as she continuously waved and blew kisses to the throng of Ginebra fans at the gallery.
Also a big hit among the crowd was volleyball darling Gretchen Ho, who was the muse of Petron Blaze. Please see the gallery: http://www.spin.ph/sports/basketball/gallery/photo-gallery-pba-philippine-cup-season-39opening-ceremony
The lovely former Ateneo player admitted feeling right at home in the league as she once played the game and dreamt of becoming a cagebelle herself.
“Ang sarap ng feeling kasi bumalik ako sa home sport ko,” Ho related to Spin.ph, recalling she had to give up playing basketball for volleyball since there was no cage program in her school during her junior years.
“I’m very honored to be the muse of Petron. It’s not an unfamiliar sport for me so the PBA is always close to my heart and I’m just very grateful to be part of it.”
Ho currently plays for Petron in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix, reason why it wasn’t hard convincing her to become muse of the Blaze Boosters.
In contrast, Lauren Young, the Air21 muse, confessed about not playing the sport of basketball.
“Actually I don’t play any sport, but I have friends in the team like Simon Atkins, so maybe I’ll start watching the games and support the team,” the younger sister of Miss World winner Maegan Young told Spin.ph.
A first-time PBA muse like Ho, Lauren said she was thankful for the opportunity of being part of the oldest professional basketball league in Asia.
“Yes it’s my first time and it was nice,” she said. “I was glad that I became a part of it and I’m so thankful that they invited me here. I just wish my team good luck.”
Actress-model Isabel Oli also doesn’t play basketball, but was happy to serve as muse of the team she considered her favorite in the league – San Mig Coffee.
“Ever since Purefoods pa sila, tapos naging B-Meg, and now San Mig, Mixers (fan) talaga ako,” she said.
Clad in a blue skin-tight dress, Oli, reportedly a last-minute replacement for Jessy Mendiola, said that while she watches the games both live and on television, she doesn’t really know how to play the game.
“I love to watch basketball but I don’t know how to play,” said the co-host of the TV show Sports Pilipinas who also happens to be a close friend of San Mig Coffee star James Yap.
Acting as muse of a pro ballclub for the very first time made her nervous notwithstanding her long years of acting in front of the cameras, Oli said.
“At first I was really nervous kasi it’s really not my thing na maglalakad-lakad, but it was really fun. It’s a different experience,” she said.