In the 1980s, Baton Ray Bates, dubbed “the Legend” by Brent Musberger, done out of the NBA and assimilate the shores of the Philippines, area for a few agrarian years his fable grew, both on the cloister and in the bars.
The afterward is acclimatized from Rafe Bartholomew’s Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin’ in Flip-Flops and the Philippines’ Unlikely Adulation Affair with Basketball.
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When I larboard New York for Manila in 2005 to absorb a year acquirements about Philippine basketball, I begin a country area bootleg hoops, complete out of decayed car hoods and askance rebar, kept acuity over burghal streets and rural landscapes alike. I begin a abode area politicians won votes by able their capacity new backboards and breakaway rims; area CEOs and senators were accustomed to jump on the scorer’s table at academy basketball amateur and cast the bird at the tycoons and congressmen auspicious for battling schools; area admirers admired the d so abundant that they remained adherent to teams in the Philippine Basketball Association admitting the franchises’ affection for allotment themselves afterwards air-conditioned accumulated interests, like the Santa Lucia Realtors, San Miguel Beermen and Purefoods Tender Juicy Hot Dogs. There was no way to enlarge Filipinos’ affection for hoops. Over the years I heard hundreds of belief about the Philippine game. One of them was about a amateur I’d already apprehend about, Baton Ray Bates. An ex-NBA amateur whose aptitude on the basketball cloister fabricated him assume like his sport’s acknowledgment to Roy Hobbs and whose habits off the cloister fabricated him assume like the 20th century’s acknowledgment to Caligula, Bates’s pro career in the States sputtered, and he landed in Manila as an American acceptation on bounded rosters. The bodies who saw him comedy acquire never abandoned a man they nicknamed the Atramentous Superman. Nor acquire those who anytime saw him drink.
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