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(Photo Credit: sportsbusinessdigest.com)

For the life of me, I do not understand men’s fixation, obssession, fascination, addiction for many sports that have to do with balls. In America and in my native Philippines, it’s basketball, in the UK, the rest of Europe and Africa  it’s soccer or football, in Japan it’s baseburu or baseball, in India and Pakistan- cricket.  Anyway, you know that joke about teenagers playing basketball, then shifting to tennis when they’re adults and then golf when they’re much older which leads to the conclusion that as the men get older, their balls become smaller, nya ha ha. But you see, husband is 48 but his main passion remains to be basketball.

You’ve heard of golf widows right?  Because these wives are practically left out in the cold when their husbands are out to play golf all week. And in the UK, I’ve seen girls wear shirts that say “F—K Football, what about me?”  I might  as well have been a basketball widow and swore the F word but no- I remain,yours truly a devoted fan, watching hubby and his team at games and practices, making their sandwiches, bringing him water and towel etc. Of course I have to say this but I think hubby- to his credit gives one of the most graceful and elegant three point shots I’ve seen in basketball. In slow motion.

Anyway, his dedication and commitment to basketball is seen in how he is able to gather his Reposo Bulls team in San Miguel Village in Makati  (Their number could swell up to 20) to play in Bel-Air or in the slums of Guadalupe whenever he is in Manila where he had been staying for the past 23years before a southern belle (moi) chased him until he caught her. He only came home to Davao City for the wedding. The day after our wedding, he wanted to play basketball but having been uprooted from his birthplace for the longest time, he had no friends, knew no one and had no one to play with. Guess who he played one-on-one basketball with at the village gym?  Drum rolls please-  Me!  ( Do I take a bow or do I get a bop in the head from you, reader?)

His car has a  Michael Jordan sticker. (Shouldn’t it be  Jeremy Lin by now?)  On his birthday, as a present, I commissioned an artist to paint a portrait of him in his basketball uniform , emblazoned with his team’s name and his jersey number 10,   his Spalding ball and the German Shepherd Shrek (he died from an accident) and the then puppy Rotweiller Brando. It’s my biggest extravagance,  I know.

Anyway,when he came back home for better or for worse (not for good- ha ha), he was able to form a basketball team by cajoling, browbeating,coaxing, goading, pleading, arm-twisting, nudging, egging on and coercing and employing other lawyerly tactics to his colleagues to join the team where he is manager, team owner, player  and coach rolledi into one. Sometimes, he and another colleague pay for half the cost of the basketball unifroms of other team members. Such passion. (Did the wifey know about this?)

Anyway, on their first season, they ranked 6th out of 7 teams. The next tournament, they won second runner up and had a trophy to show for it which by the way they earned fair and square and by not badgering the witness, er, I mean the referees.

I’ve seen hubby grow old with basketball. Where before he was content wearing an abdominal binder support, now he has started using knee support, then I’ve seen him use a shin support. Last I heard he will be buying an ankle support. Wouldn’t an all body armor be better to prevent you from disintegrating,  sweetie?

I’ve been telling him to shift to golf but would hear none of it after the ball size joke.

Anyway,his office celebrated its anniversary with a basketball game and had two teams. His team members were the usual suspects- people we’re familiar with, people we’ve invited to our home for parties etc. On the last five seconds of the game, according to husband, and this is hearsay as I was not at the scene of the crime- the score was 80-82, in favor of the opponent,  He was, allegedly in possession of the ball, made a jumpshot , ball went in and tied the score. The game was extended for 5 minutes. The final score was 96-86 ( and I wished he had sent the scoreboard to me through Fedex for best evidence)  in their favor.

He said, and again this is hearsay, it was because of that that he became MVP. I was incredulous at first you know, he’s a lawyer and you know lawyers. I had thought he had that award for merely being able to play at his age, some sort of a Most Vintage Player Award (joke, sweetie)  but surprise, surprise- he really earned it. See the things you can do when I am not with you?

He claimed his award with our son Enzo, who at the age of 8 months had his first basketball uniform. Enzo wore his basketball uniform when Pappy received his award. Of course they both missed Mama, the muse.