Saturday, January 07, 2012

Fastbreak Charity Game for Typhoon Sendong Victims

A very devastating weather phenomenon, tropical storm Sendong destroyed the South of the Philippines last December 2011 that lost crops, houses and lives of our dear countrymen just in the middle of Christmas season. Everyone in the country citizens from in on other country felt downcast seeing bodies of dead people, hungry children, destroyed shelters, flooded lands and grieving parents and children who are suffering from the lost of their loved ones. These scenarios inspired citizens those who are living on Luzon, Visayas and even abroad to offer their helping hands and donate some of what they have in over to help.

As a youth moved by what was going on, Kiefer Ravena, the phenomenal rookie of Ateneo Blue Eagles and a basketball player for our national team shared a suggestion on a status in Facebook regarding a creation of an event, a basketball game which he was expert at to raise funds and donations for the typhoon victims. So it happened, by the help of his father who is also a legend in basketball, Bong Ravena they organized and promoted “Fastbreak: A benefit game for typhoon Sendong victims” which was held in San Juan Arena last January 06, 2011 aiming to donate the proceeds to the calamity areas through Ateneo de Manila University and Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan.

The two teams consist of celebrity players from different fields of media. National and collegiate basketball stars like the charismatic entrepreneur/TV host Chris Tiu, famous and top UAAP/NCAA players like Nico Salva, RR Garcia, Joshua Webb, Kevin Alas, and Justin Chua. Music icons Rico Blanco, Gab Valenciano, and Champ Lui Pio were stunning seeing the rare moment they were dribbling a basketball besides the usual strumming of guitars. Matinee idols also graced the court; some of them were Luis Alandy, Marco Alcaraz and one of the scene stealers of the day, Gerald Anderson. Of course the event would not be as energetic without an amazing dancer Jhong Hilario who exhibited his dance moves while playing and our very well loved comedians who I believe were the main attraction –Tado and Jose. They induced the outpour of blissful hearts as Jose served as a referee and Budoy impersonator on a face off with Gerald Anderson who plays the role and Tado showing off his clownish tactics and acts of getting the ball. Also present in the third quarter for a three-point shootout were PBA legend Allan Caidic, two time MVP/top basketball player James Yap and the eloquent and handsome reporter Mark Zambrano. Mr. Caidic won 5,000PHP which he also donated to the relief drive.

The Smart White Team was lead by Kiefer Ravena and Chris Tiu while the Meralco Red Team was guided by Nico Salva and Geral Anderson. Though the game was not like those serious and contested like the usual basketball games, this play penetrated the cheers and attention of the audience with hilarious acts like no other symbolizing more of friendship and good intentions never minding network rivalries, expertise differences, age gaps and popularity.

Meralco Red Team dominated the early game and earned a 14-point lead mainly from shots courtesy of Salva and Garcia and 11 points by Anderson. When Jose Manalo entered the game as a referee with Tiu and Ravena connecting their shots together with continuous receiving of free throws by Smart White, a final score of 118-107 lead the Smart White boys to a win.

It was indeed one of the most unforgettable basketball games I have ever watched. The joy, entertainment and charity were indeed priceless than the 100PHP cost of our tickets. May these celebrities and famous personalities continue this amazing way of amusing and helping our countrymen at the same time.


Photo Credits:

Josh Albelda of Ignite Media
Kimberly Ann del Pilar
Karen Feaster


  1. I felt so sad about this catastrophic incident, I hope that people of the Philippines will then realize the value of our dear nature… stop illegal logging before the whole country plunge as a river…

  2. Nice post. Thanks for sharing. I hope that preventative measures can be put in place soon. One thing that can be done which costs nothing is each individual take responsibility for their garbage and put it where it belongs instead of throwing it all over the streets, rivers, and everywhere else.