By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Apr. 15, 2014
HAYWARD, Calif. – Over 1,200 screaming fans filled the Chabot College gym recently, not just to cheer for any basketball team. They were there to support the Star Magic all-star basketball team, composed of their favorite celebrities — Gerald Anderson, Xian Lim, Rayver Cruz, Enrique Gil, JC de Vera, Jason Abalos, Ejay Falcon, Arron Villaflor, JV Kapunan and Gerard Acado.
Kim Chiu and Enchong Dee also entertained the crowd with their half-time performances.
It was the first time that the Star Magic all-star basketball team came the U.S. and their fans said it was definitely worth the wait.
“We played in Singapore and in Hongkong. This is our first-time as a team in the States. We are very excited to be here,” Anderson said.
Like many members in the Star Magic all-star basketball team, Anderson said they’ve loved playing basketball since they were kids.
And for Anderson, whose father is America, it is a dream come true to be able to play in a country he used to call home. He shared, “Even when I lived here in the States, I played basketball. Back when I was in Missouri, I was in the varsity team. When I moved to General Santos, I also played in varsity.”
But Anderson and his teammates did not have it easy. They played against skilled Filipino-American college basketball players and even former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players, who now play for the Filipino Invitational Basketball League (FIBL).
“It’s a good experience. Not everyone can say they got to play with celebrities from the Philippines,” said Noel Briones of the FIBL.
Cruz admitted that they knew it was going to be a challenge playing against FilAm cagers. The actor said, “This is a basketball country and we knew there were really good players here.”
“They’re all tall!,” said Gil, laughing. “We’ll just have fun!”
With their fans’ support, both teams gave it all they got. But in the end, the Star Magic all-star team prevailed — with a 111 to 88 score.
Anderson ended up the highest scorer with 51 points. He was proclaimed Most Valuable Player.
For these Kapamilya stars, more than winning the game, it is in giving so much joy to their fans in America that make their victory so much sweeter.
You may contact Henni Espinosa at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.