Junkyard Basketball in the Philippines

You've seen makeshift basketball courts in the Philippines. Full courts or half courts, they're practically everywhere. With any improvised board, hoop and a pole, one can make streets and most vacant lots instant basketball courts.

These makeshift basketball backboards and hoops are often mounted on coconut trees, mango trees, or any tree with a rigid trunk. On paved concrete streets, you'd see the the basketball boards mounted with an assembly of large pieces of wood.

The base of the whole assembly is then pinned to the concrete ground by a heavy weight, usually a concrete-filled metal drum.

But speaking of a makeshift basketball board and hoop, here's something out of the ordinary.

That's a basketball goal on a junk mini-tractor with the paved street as the court.

Yup, that's how basketball-crazy Filipinos can be.

Why Basketball is so Popular in the Philippines

In spite of Sipa being the national sport (or is it Arnis, now?), basketball continues to dominate the local sports scene in terms of popularity. Talk about sports in the Philippines and it's mostly basketball that always comes up.

Maybe there's boxing (especially during Pacquiao season) or a sprinkling of billiards, bowling or chess. But it is basketball in the mainstream.

It is really the American influence as to why Pinoys love the sport of basketball. No matter that they're too short for it. Because realistically, basketball is a game of height.

Pinoys simply love to emulate their favorite American basketball players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and other cagers. Some even become good themselves.

Eventually, the best become good enough to join the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) which pays good money for good players. And why not, with the sport's popularity, there's never a dearth for basketball fans who'll pay to watch the league's basketball games.

On the international scene, the SEA and the Asian games are where the local players can and do make a mark. And sadly, that's just about it.

The Olympics? Unless you can get 7-footer players, forget about it.

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