OAKLAND, Calif. – Filipino food trucks, cultural performances, and lots of faithful Filipino fans were all part of the Pinoy invasion of Oracle Arena when the Golden State Warriors celebrated the annual Filipino Heritage Night as they defeated the Brooklyn Nets in overtime win.
This year there was clearly more to be happy about as the Warriors are returning from their first NBA championship in 40 years.
“It’s so much fun to represent our culture here,” said Clarice, who is a third-year Filipino American Warriors dancer. “All our families are Warriors fans so it’s really great to represent Filipino pride and that now that we have Filipino Heritage Night with the Warriors and also with other Bay Area teams it’s really a blessing and it’s nice to represent the culture.”
“It’s really great to have a Filipino culture that is representing the Bay Area and they’re here to cheer on the fans and so are we and it’s nice to be representing them,” said Fil-Am rookie dancer Jackie.
And for the only Filipino American hype man in the NBA Franco Finn says his fellow kababayans make his job of pumping up the crowd and the team so much easier.
“The Filipinos fans are amazing,” said Finn. “Night in, night out, as I mentioned before, they’ve come during the darkest times and they’ve been here for the best of times and I feel so proud to be a Pinoy representing here and getting hyped up!”
For the first time across the NBA the Warriors are celebrating Filipino heritage by wearing special edition Filipino Heritage Night shooting shirts before the game. Fans were are able to purchase the shirts in the arena but fans around the world can get them at the Warriors website.
The Warriors front office acknowledges the tremendous support they receive from the Filipino community and they say that offering a heritage night is one of their many ways of saying thank you.
“I think this is something that only grows each year,” said Jennifer Cabalquinto, the Warriors Chief Financial Officer. “I always tease everyone that we can make every night Filipino Heritage Night because if you look at the crowd it is a very strong fan base for us. We’re really excited to be able to continue to do it. We want to thank them for their support.”
Tickets for a second Filipino Heritage Night are available for March 25 as the Warriors take on the Dallas Mavericks.
With this latest win, the Warriors are the NBA’s only undefeated team with a record of 11-0.
Proud to be Filipino!!!! Nice Job!!!Kudos!!!
Its fun and enjoyable to watch every Warriord game. I love the way they share the ball and the Splash Brothers are really fantastic. Its incredible how Stephen Curry can weave into a maze of big defenders and still make a beautiful shot. Amazing