Filipino basketball community in Edmonton mourns Kobe’s death

Filipino basketball community in Edmonton mourns Kobe’s death

The Filipino basketball community in Edmonton was shocked and just could not believe that their basketball idol, Kobe Bryant died in a fatal crash at the age of 41.

“I was really shocked. I just could not believe it,” said Floyd Eyao, a player and referee in the Philippine Sports Association (PSA) Edmonton.

Ariel Nealaga, another PSA referee, quickly rushed to this writer last January 26 to check online about Kobe. The Filipino basketeers were at the Fr.Michael Troy gym that day for a fund-raising event for the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption.

MJ Palomares, president of Flip Hoops Basketball, was among those who were shocked and accepted later on the sad news that their basketball idol was gone.

Bryant is best remembered for visiting the basketball-crazy Philippines in 1998 that marked his strong connection with the fans.

And that strong connection has remained to Filipinos who immigrated to Canada.

In the Edmonton and Area, various basketball leagues have been organized including new ones like the Edmonton Filipino-Canadian Basketball League (EFCBL), Philippine Basketball Association in Canada (PBAC) and Filipino Basketball Association in Edmonton (FBAE).

“We love basketball and to learn the sudden death of Kobe just made the basketball community very sad,” said PSA president Gary Perpetua.

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