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Henry Liao

Basketball: Still Crazy After All These Years

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I am a battle-scarred Filipino who is a year away from acquiring a second citizenship – or rather becoming a senior citizen.

For the younger generation, life begins at 40. But for us Baby Boomers, life begins at 60.

At my age, I have also become a basketball dinosaur, a hoops junkie who perhaps is ready to ride onto the sunset.

I have been chronicling local and international basketball competitions for most of my earthly existence.

The passion for the sport got into me early.

At the tender age of eight, I have already been into basketball and reading hoops materials from here and abroad. And I have not looked back since then.

Along the way, I may have flirted with some other sports such as professional boxing, soccer, bowling and table tennis.

Of course, that is aside from the girl-oogling that most teenagers do to freshen or lighten up. Tell me, how can one not follow the lead of “Nineteeners” TV host Jose Mari Chan from the swinging 1960s and not stop and talk for a while when the Girl from Ipanema walks in?

I played the game of soccer, bowling and “pingpong” (or table tennis) during my heyday, but never did I have the guts to take up the bloody sport of boxing.

My brushes with some bullies during my academic years were the only experiences I had in the punching business.

For good measure, I also was fascinated with the work ethic and jeet kune do fighting style (spiced with some Kenkoy acts) of the late iconic martial artist Bruce Lee as a teenager in the seventies.
After all that has been said, my basketball playing/chronicling has neither waned nor set back by any boundaries even until now.
As Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel of the legendary American musical duo of Simon and Garfunkel would say, I am “Still Crazy After All These Years” with the game of basketball.
Truly, at age 59, I am still crazy over hoops and nets.
For the past half-a-century, this Hoopster has actually watched thousands and thousands of games – be it “live” or on television.

“Been there, done that” I have, from the sandlots to the barangay playground to the Araneta Coliseum and now all the way to the newly-built SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The journey does not stop here and will never cease to end until my last breath.

It’s all for the love of basketball.


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