Filipino winter basketball league launched in Taiwan
Taoyuan, Oct. 18 (CNA) A winter basketball tournament for 16 Filipino teams was launched in Taoyuan on Sunday, with hundreds of people gathering at a community center complex for the opening.
The opening ceremony of the CIASI Nankan 2020 Linkou Winter Basketball League featured a march-past, during which the teams, comprising more than 300 Filipino migrant workers, were judged on best uniforms and best muses.
The Lian-Hwa basketball team, made up entirely of Filipino workers from Lian Hwa Foods Corp. in Taoyuan, won the trophy for "Best in Uniform," with their eye-catching red, white and blue jerseys.
Their jersey's design was inspired by the famous Nike 2020 NBA All-Star weekend uniform, which includes a tribute to the late basketball legend Kobe Bryant, Lian-Hwa captain Jayson Manipon told CNA.
In memory of the shooting guard, who died in a helicopter crash in January, the jersey features an image of him dribbling a ball, Manipon said.
"In basketball, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan are our idols, and they will forever be legends who inspire us," said the 34-year-old Filipino player.
Meanwhile, the Linkou Spartans won the "Best Muse" trophy, which was accepted by the team's muse Barbie Fronda, a 26-year-old Filipina factory worker from New Taipei.
In Filipino basketball culture, muses are females who whip up support for their teams at tournament openings.
Rheden Delumen, national chairman of CIASI in Taiwan, said the tournament is aimed at creating unity, sportsmanship and respect among Filipino migrant workers through sports.
It is also hoped that the tournament will serve to attract more Filipino workers to CIASI, according to Emerson Santiago, secretary general of CIASI Taiwan and a member of the organization's Nankan subchapter, which organized the competition.
CIASI -- the Confederation of Ilocano Association, Inc., Samahang Ilocano -- is an international Filipino organization with 13 chapters and a total of about 900 members in Taiwan. It describes its main mission as helping to unify Filipino communities through sports and cultural events.
The CIASI Nankan 2020 Linkou Winter Basketball League has raised NT$10,000 (US$347) to buy stationery supplies for elementary schools in the Philippines, according to Aristotle De la Cruz, president of CIASI Taiwan's Nankan subchapter.
The money, raised from registration fees for the tournament and a three-point shootout competition on the opening day, will go to elementary schools that were attended by players on the Guishan Tan-Star team.
The team, made up of players from the Philippine province ofBohol, gained the right to pick the schools when it won a raffle.
Meanwhile, 25-year-old Justin Cueto of the Quanta Ballers team, named after the Taoyuan-based Quanta Computer company, won the three-point shootout contest, sinking seven out of 15 from downtown, among a total of 50 contestants.
The tournament, which did not hold any official games Sunday because of unfavorable weather, is expected to run for two to three months, with 56 games in the preliminaries before entering the playoffs.
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