A 40th season opens with tribute to PBA forefathers
BOCAUE, Bulacan, Philippines — For 40 seasons, the Philippine Basketball Association had one thing that lifted them to new heights: the throng of fans that have supported the league through its ups and downs.
“To our fans, to the public, let me welcome you,” PBA Commissioner Chito Salud said during the opening ceremonies of the league at the Philippine Arena. “This season is for you, this season is because of you.”
With thousands of fans in attendance, the 12 teams ushered in the 40th season inside the world’s largest indoor arena as Salud took the opportunity to thank the forefathers of the PBA that made a dream formulated during martial law into the elite basketball league of the Philippines.
“This is in honor, and to give thanks to the founding fathers and the next generations of leaders that followed,” Salud said. “Our fathers dared to dream, through the adversities they never gave up.”
“The league took shape, and gained the strength.”
PBA Chairman Patrick Gregorio told the players and current league of governors to always aim high and to take heart the words of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
“MVP always said ‘man’s reach must always exceed his grasp,'” Gregorio said. “How will we achieve victory if we don’t aim high?”
Gregorio added that the current cast of the 40th season of the PBA must always aim for apex saying indifference would produce nothing.
“If we do not dream, the next generation of governors and players would harvest the fruits of indifference,” Gregorio said.
An endless applause
Customary to PBA opening ceremonies, the teams did not enter the parquet floor from its level, but at the level of the fans several storeys high.
Coming from the stands and through the crowds, the Alaska Aces, Barako Bull Energy Cola, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Blackwater Elite, Globalport Batang Pier, Kia Sorento, Meralco Bolts, NLEX Road Warriors, Purefoods Star Hotshots, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, San Miguel Beermen and Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters wowed the thousands in attendance together with their muses.
Cheered they may be, one man got the lion’s share of praise.
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao bathed in chants of “Manny! Manny!” and other discernable shouts as the eight-Division World Champion descended upon the parquet floor.
40th PBA season unfolds today