A huge chunk of my childhood was spent watching basketball games on TV. Whether it was the NBA or the PBA, I really enjoyed the competitiveness of the game.
My love for basketball only grew when I hit high school. My classmates and I would talk about the PBA most of the time, and during recess or lunch breaks we’d even play 3-on-3 inside the classroom — with the door as our hoop, emulating our favorite PBA players.
I was a huge Alaska fan growing up, mostly because of Johnny Abarrientos. I was short when I was a kid so I looked up to players who could do wonders on the court despite their size, and Johnny A was the epitome of that. I had an affinity for the way he played the game — he gave it his all and didn’t shy away from bigger opponents. He always seemed to make the right play at the right time, not succumbing to pressure.
Another player I admired watching was Vergel Meneses because of his artistic moves, which at the time were insane. He’d do things on the court that would make you just go, “WOW.” That’s why during the 90s, I rooted for Alaska and Sunkist.
The other day I chanced upon a photo album of shirts from the Epic Wear Facebook page. I had never heard of them before but the photos they posted caught my eye because they were selling shirts that featured monikers of old school PBA stars.
I know these weren’t official PBA merchandise but the shirts looked dope and paid tribute to all the players we miss watching. Nostalgic, right? Reminded me of how exciting and fun the PBA was back in the day.