BROOKLYN, NY— The first-ever Filipino heritage night was held Wednesday, December 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The Brooklyn Nets hosted a night of culture and sports to celebrate Filipino pride, during its home court match against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“It’s awesome; everything I wanted, I wanted it to be about the kids, the community, how we can make it better, and the love,” said organizer Marc Anthony Agbuya.
“It’s shows a lot of respect for the community, and appreciation and understanding of the Filipino community’s pride in their heritage and culture,” said Rolando Lavarro, Council President of Jersey City, NJ.
Talented Fil-Am theater performers, the Broadway Barkada, opened the games with the US national anthem.
For the Broadway Barkada’s Brian Jose, it was a statement of pride for being Filipino and American.
“I think it’s really important to show that there are ‘colorful’ Americans out there, after this election year, that this is our national anthem,” said Jose. “We’re proud Filipino-Americans and it’s important to share that and to celebrate it.”
The Rutgers Association of Philippine Students, or RAPS, performed a mash-up of Filipino and modern dances during primetime.
Some Fil-Am kids got to high-five their favorite NBA players, as their basketball idols entered the court.
At halftime, young Fil-Am ballers from different Pinoy basketball leagues took over the court to show off their hoops skills.
Filipinos are the best,” said Jasmine Nuguid, a player in the Philippine Basketball Ministry.
After the game, Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers came out to meet his fans.
More than 2,000 Filipinos were among the 18,000 NBA fans at Barclays who came out to see the Brooklyn Nets beat the Lakers, 107-97.