BASKETBALL fans' undying love and devotion for Barangay Ginebra is nothing short of phenomenal, even for its billionaire owner.
"Grabe ang fans ng Ginebra," San Miguel Corp. big boss Ramon S. Ang gushed in an interview with Anthony Taberna that was posted on the veteran journalist's social media pages. "Yung Ginebra, it's so popular."
To drive home his point, Ang didn't even have to go down memory lane to the days of the great Robert Jaworski and his never-say-die teams. He only had to recall Ginebra's win over the Bay Area Dragons in the last PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals.
There was unmistakable pride in the owner's voice as he recalled the Gin Kings' Game Seven romp over the guest team from Hong Kong.
"Naalala n'yo ba yung Ginebra versus Bay Area Dragons, yung puro imported na players?" he asked Taberna. "Aba, nung magsimula maglaro 'yung Bay Area sa PBA, [it was] as if they were unbeatable, di ba?
"Pitong import, sobrang galing nun, at yung coach [ay] national coach ng Australia. Ay paano mo tatalunin 'yon. Pero nilampaso ng Ginebra 'yon sa championship."
SMC's top honcho couldn't even help but compare the PBA all-time record 54,589 fans that came to watch that Game Seven to the number of fans at the Philippine Arena for the opening games of the World Cup which set a new Fiba record.
"Ilan yung record crowd sa Philippine Arena [para sa Game Seven ng Ginebra-Bay Area finals? Kita mo," Ang said. "E ilan yung crowd sa Fiba [World Cup] opening night? Told it reached 38,115 fans, he said, "Kita mo, malaki pa 'yung [sa Ginebra game].
"'Di pala natin kailangan ang Fiba [World Cup]. Mas nagagalak pala mga kababayan natin kapag napapanood nila ang Ginebra," he continued.