Scorching hot weather did not stop the huge number of fans who witnessed the opening of the 1st Association of Filipinos in Thailand Basketball League on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at the Ramkhamhaeng University Sports Complex in Bangkok.
Hundreds of Filipinos flocked the event as early as 8:00 in the morning in support of their teams. A total of 14 teams are competing at the three-month basketball tournament mainly sponsored by Western Union which is considered as the world’s largest money transfer company. Other companies that cosponsored the event are Central Department Store and Thailand Post. Filipino owned RBG House of Fashion & Pawnshop and Pridi Dental also supported the league.
The program was divided into four parts. First part was the parade of teams, managers and muses. Next was the program proper which consisted of message from the Philippine Embassy official. It was followed by games, intermission numbers and awarding of the Best in Uniform which was bagged by Duterte Eagles team.
Vice Consul Jim Mingala who served as the guest of honor delivered a speech during the ceremony. The Philippine Embassy’s 3rd Secretary and Head of the Consular Section enumerated the work of the Embassy and its responsibilities to the Filipino community. He also made an appeal to the Filipino community to exercise their right to vote at the upcoming elections in May.
“This year is a very important year for the Philippines. Exercise your right to vote,” Mingala said in mixed English and Tagalog.
One of the most awaited parts of the opening salvo was the search for Miss AFTBL and Mr. & Ms. Western Union.
The games started at 1:00 p.m. right after the AFTBL was declared officially open. The ceremonial tossing of the ball was led by AFT President Mr. Efren Villanueva.
Photos: Jess Tura