Filipinos join Orange County gathering remembering Kobe Bryant and victims of helicopter crash

IRVINE, CA —  Fans flocked to the Championship Soccer Stadium at the Orange County Great Park to pay their last respects to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi, and all the victims of last month’s helicopter crash — including Fil-Am basketball coach Christina Mauser who was a resident of Orange County.

With tickets hard to come by for the staples center memorial, Filipino families were among those closely watching the celebration of life live on the big screen.

“Fans kami ni Kobe. Ever since 20 years na… it’s touching. It’s really sad that Kobe’s not here any more. We’re gonna miss him,” said Breiner Manalo.

Fans became even more emotional when Vanessa Bryant took the stage. The widow filed a wrongful death suit against the helicopter operator Monday morning, claiming that the pilot failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff.”.

While this celebration gave fans a form of closure, in the weeks prior to this event, the victims, including Christina Mauser, were laid to rest in private ceremonies.

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