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NBA Finals Game 6 a major spectacle even in Cebu

19 Jun

The Game 6 of the NBA Finals has proven time and again that basketball is still the king of sports in the country. From the cyberspace where people heckle each other in Facebook and Twitter to sports bars, gyms, and even barbershops, people were glued to the television sets as one of the most memorable NBA final games unfold.  Many watched silently prayed that their favorite team would win so that they will not lose their “pusta”.  Betting in the NBA Finals is fairly common as bets could be as low as 5 pesos to as high as several thousands. The bets could even include fired chicken, pancit, or burger. Indeed, the game was highly anticipated.

The basketball gods did not disappoint, as Game 6 became an instant classic.  A lot of Miami Heats fans were so worried at the end of the quarter with the defending champions trailing by double digits,65-75.  Some felt it was over; some had hope and believed that Lebron and friends will pull through in the last 12 minutes of play.   What happened in the 4th period was way better than any telenovela script in the Kapamilya network.   Lebron and his barkada surely did rally and erased the deficit via a 19-7 run at the start of final period to take the lead at 84-82 with half of the quarter left.  King James did it with a supporting cast of Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, and Chris Andersen. Lebron led a rally without 2 of the Big 3.  He even did it without his headband that he stopped wearing after losing after afollow-up dunk in the midst of their frantic rally.

The veteran San Antonio Spurs still fought back.  Tony Parker showed why he is one of the premier NBA Finals performers in history.  He tied the game with a trifecta over Lebron at 89-all.  In the next play, he stripped ball from Chalmers and showed the Heat PG how it is done in the other end to give the Spurs a 91-89 lead with less than a minute left.  The bida Lebron seemed to show his “chocker side” as he orchestrated 2 fruitless possessions which resulted to 3 FT points by Ginobili in the other end giving the Spurs a seemingly comfortable lead.  Many fans in Miami were leaving their sites while some in the Cebu were closing their eyes and some even stopped watching.  Some even started to buy fired chicken to celebrate victory.  Some people started calling their kapustahan and asked when they can collect their 20 pesos.  The yellow rope was prepared for the awarding ceremony but it was not over.

The headbandless Lebron finally hit the mark with 20 seconds left to cut lead to just 2 points. Miami was forced to foul Kawhi Leonard who split his free throw to give the Heat a chance to tie with 3-point shot. In the final Heat possession in regulation, Lebron attempted a game-tying 3-point shot but missed with just 7 seconds left.  In that moment, a lot of people were holding their breath.  Some still think it is over; some fantasizing about how to spend their winning; while some prayed really hard.  Chris Bosh was able to grab the rebound and passed the ball to NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made Ray Allen who had the presence of mind to step back before hitting the game-tying shot much to the chagrin of many fans who thought the game was over. Roars, screams, and cries are heard all over the world when the shot was made.

The game was close in overtime. In the closing seconds of OT, the Spurs were down by 3 and they have the ball.  The ball ended in the hands of Danny Green who had made 26 trifectas in this so far (an NBA Finals record) but Bosh had other plans.  The other day he promised the media that Green will not get an open look in this game and surely he backed his talked as he blocked the final attempt of the game to give Miami a chance to be back to back champs.

It was definitely fun and memorable for many fans in Cebu.  Many came late for work.  A lot of work stopped. The most crowded place in the posh Ayala Center Cebu mall was outside a barbershop that has a TV on. Indeed, Basketball is still the undisputed king of sports and Cebu will likely take another pause on Friday for Game 7. Who is your bet???

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