Filipino warmth, beaches–and traffic–make an impression | Inquirer Sports

Filipino warmth, beaches–and traffic–make an impression

/ 02:47 AM November 06, 2015

Ariel Usher. Photo by Jilson Tiu/INQUIRER

Ariel Usher. Photo by Jilson Tiu/INQUIRER

Having immersed in the Filipino walk of life, top-shelf Philippine Superliga (PSL) foreign players were unanimous about the things in which Metro Manila stands out: Warm people, beaches and the streets’ organized chaos.

Metro Manila’s traffic actually piqued their interest more than the others.


Waiting for the shoot to start, Cignal’s Amanda Anderson was browsing on her smartphone for the city with the most terrible traffic and discussing it with teammate Ariel Usher and Foton’s Katie Messing.


“Yeah we were trying to find out if it’s (Manila) No. 1 because that’s what we heard, but no it didn’t crack the top 10. I don’t know, I don’t trust that (internet list),” said the Texas-born Messing, who along with fellow Tornado Lindsay Stalzer took two hours to get from Quezon City to Makati for the shoot.

“It’s crazy. All you Filipinos know it’s crazy. Like in the States we have traffic but they are in their lane doing what they’re supposed to do,” said Usher. “Here it’s chaos… And you guys love your horns.”

A break from the action

The PSL, the country’s premier club league, took a week-long holiday break and, of course, Foton and Cignal players hit the beaches.

“We went to a little place called Boracay,” said Stalzer, a returning PSL import who didn’t mind the big crowd that usually troop to the popular destination. “It wasn’t too bad.”

Messing added: “In the evening there are (crowd) but during the day everyone kind of disappears.”


Meanwhile, Cignal opted for Batangas and went island hopping.

“We got to see some parts of the island. Lots of coconuts and Starbucks. Of course the beach is really pretty. It’s only a short trip from the city and it’s nice to be away and be with the girls in our team,” said Anderson.

Yet more than anything, just about every one of them noticed the Filipinos’ warmth.

“I think the fans are pretty fun, they’re really supportive, friendly” said Stalzer. “They make us feel pretty important.”

Anderson said even the team drivers behave like big fans which helped them to easily fit into the team.

Messing, who turned 23 last Oct. 31, is not a big fan of malls but now that they spend four hours a day in it, she confessed, “I can get used to it.”

She, too, swore of the innate ability of the local people to make them feel at home.

“People are wonderful. People are super fun I think specially in PSL. They know everything. They tell you they’re supporting you even after two losses, they tell you ‘hey you can bounce back,’” said Usher.

Obviously, they love it here. And beneath their ferocity and grit on the court, they all have that tender spot in their heart for the Filipino fans.


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TAGS: Ariel Usher, Philippine Superliga (PSL)

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