Originally scheduled at the height of typhoon Lando, the 41st season of the PBA Philippine Cup opened three days later to resounding cheers that echoed from the Mall of Asia Arena to every corner of the country. Making full use of the three-day postponement, the event organizers used the extra time to reshape the opening into an event that would have meaning beyond the court.
From the very start of the program, the fans in attendance knew they were a part of something extraordinary as they were treated to video packages, dance numbers, and a light show, all designed to evoke their spirit of bayanihan.
Before the Season 41 teams and their muses were formally introduced on the court, PBA Comissioner Chito Navares drew the most cheers for his opening speech, where he announced that all profits from the event would be donated to typhoon-stricken areas.
The cause did more than add social responsibility to the opening of the country’s most popular sports league, it showed everyone that the Filipino passion for basketball and love of nation go hand in hand.
Through the years, the world has witnessed how Filipinos weathered storms with their relentless hearts and strong sense of bayanihan. PUSO has been their battle cry through the good and the bad. Due to the effects of the recent typhoon Lando, the whole nation was challenged to rise together once more and they would do so through another thing Filipinos are known for – through their common love for basketball.