The Journey to see NBA players and the NBA Cares outreach program in Manila

I was one of the unfortunate basketball fans who was not able to watch the first ever NBA basketball game in the Philippines live at the Mall of Asia Arena, I was in envy of my friends who were able to secure tickets to see NBA players such as Dwight Howard, Paul George, James Harden, Jeremy Lin and a lot more. I heard it was a great experience for them even if they only watched it from the upper box section.

Being a fan and a blogger, I had to do something, I have to somehow see these guys. Then I saw somewhere online that the NBA is planning to do an outreach program in Manila at 3pm today and the school that they picked was Aurora A. Quezon Elementary school, that sounded familiar. But of course I knew the place is in Malate, this could be the opportunity that I am waiting for. I went out and took a taxi ride to the school very early to scout the place but there were no signs or even a hint that they are coming, and I thought to myself, what should I do? 

I went back home and believe it or not in my desperation, I even contacted NBA Philippines to verify and to get an access to the NBA outreach event that will be attended by the Houston Rockets in Manila , and got no response as expected. That was such a bad day, until I got a text message from one of my contacts from Adidas informing me that Dwight Howard will be having the Signature shot event at MOA the same day at 5pm and I am invited, what a relief at least I will get to see Dwight Howard in person. Maybe I'll just give up on the outreach event, for sure it will be impossible to get in the place.
It was 3pm already and I was feeling tired updating my blog, I thought of resting and take a quick nap so I am fresh during the Dwight Howard event in MOA. But instead I got up, changed my mind to try my luck. I went to the school again to check it out, and there you go, I saw the sign that I have been waiting for, the sight of the NBA Global Games promotional jeepney and a bunch of people waiting outside the gate of the school trying to get it in, I rushed and ask the people around and my hunch just got validated. It was them, the NBA players are inside the school already and the outreach had begun, wow this is awesome , I was happy until I realized that they are not allowing any more people from the outside unless they are an authorized press or personnel for the events. That explained the big chunk of people standing outside the gate, I have seen a couple of attempts from different people but the guards wont buy their stories, i thought I have to go back home, this would be a waste of time, they will never let me in.

I was on the verge of turning back home until a group of photographers arrived, for some reason they are not knocking on the gate and asking the guard to enter, instead they are talking to someone on the phone, I did not hear what they are talking about because they are not close enough and it was noisy, but I knew that they were contacting someone from the inside. It was a sign, this could be my way in, so I positioned my self near them and the gate and waited patiently beside these guys, guys that are armed with high-end digital SLR Camera, I was out of place, I only had a cellphone with me to take picture, I don't fit the profile of a photographer, it didn't matter, I have got to try and well at least I am wearing a Linsanity t-shirt.

After a few minutes the gates were opened and someone from the inside is calling the photographers beside me, " come in now you have got to hurry, the event has already begun' ,  I have to do something fast, so I asked one of the guy, "hey are you media?" and he acknowledged while walking toward the gate, I have to walk with him and continue the conversation until I get in, I was almost in until the guard stopped us. "wait a minute how many are you?" asked the guards, the man on the inside responded there are four of them and by the looks of it, we are more than four, apparently one other guy was trying the same thing, and we are about to get busted. 

count, but I know its not going to happen, so before the guy even finish pointing finger , I stepped in and said to guard, "Guard I am from POWCAST.NET Sports and I am here to cover the event, please consider allowing us in, I did not lie but I am saying this while walking in the gate and before the guard could say anything we are already in and I just said, talk to the other guys and they will tell you. I turned my head against him and walk toward the event while the others still explained the situation, I knew the guard will eventually know so I have to walk faster, he can either try to catch me and leave his station or just let me go and avoid many more from getting in, he was wise enough to stay put and let me in and the other four guys in, too bad for the other fellow, he was silent during the confrontation.
And alas I am inside! and immediately I saw Clyde Drexler, Ron Harper and Chandler Parson, I was so glad I was able to get in, but where are the others? I asked around the staff and they told me that this is it, no other players are coming, oh well at least I was able to see these players up close, still the day was okay for me, take some picture and video, I got something to blog about. It was ecstatic, I can see myself smiling while walking around and observing the players helping the kids and teaching them basketball, I knew i was happy for myself but I also knew that I am happier for these young kids to experience a day with these NBA players, it was a once in a lifetime experience for them, I knew that someday they will remember this moment of their life, the moment when Chandler Parson was giving kids a high five for making the shot, when Ron Harper is passing you the ball and with Clyde Drexler telling the kids to keep on working hard. It was a dream come true for these young ballers.  I knew that this event was meant for them and to witness it is really heart warming, The NBA Cares program really did a good job in making this happen and who knows someday one of these kids will turn to  be a professional basketball player and will remember this moment as a turning point of their life.  This was a successful event.

The kids at Aurora A. Quezon Elementary school were treated with the best basketball gift the kids would ever want, you cannot buy this anywhere no matter how rich you are,  you will not see this very often, it is truly an experience, goes to show how NBA truly cares for the kids and the promotion of basketball around the world. Thanks NBA.