Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cyber Fans Day of Alaska Aces

The Alaska Aces reached out to their fans like no other team in the Philippine Basketball Association by holding their 2nd Cyber Fans Day at the Alaska Headquarters at the Corinthian Plaza in Makati last Wednesday.

The team, led by General Manager Joaqui Trillo and Head Coach Joel Banal, sat down in front of PCs fitted with WebCams for two hours to chat and interact with their fans worldwide. More than a dozen PCs were assembled in one of the conference rooms to accommodate the players who each sat in front of his own PC.

Alaska Milk Vice President for Marketing Blen Fernando said the 2nd Cyber Fans Day was a way of thanking the Alaska Aces fans for all their support and attention throughout the years. It wraps up the year-long celebration of the 25 years of Alaska participation in the PBA which concludes with the PBA opening ceremonies on Sunday October 2 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

`The players really enjoyed themselves to the point that they opened the Webcams. Dati sa unang Cyber Fans Day nahihiya pa ang players na buksan ang Webcams. Ngayon sila pa ang nagrequest. They even asked to record everything. Kaya nakikita mo na talagang nag respond ang Alaska players. The players really enjoyed the interaction with the fans from all over the world,` she said.

Yveslavedell from Panabo, Davao Del Norte asked coach Joel when the team will play in his hometown. Coach Joel replied: `Sana nga makapaglaro na kami diyan sa inyo para makita ninyo in person ang Alaska Aces pati na rin ang mga new faces sa team.`

‎Jam_box from Marikina and many other fans expressed similar sentiments saying they were elated to have Eric Salamat who compares favorably with another former Alaska Aces great in Willie Miller: `Feeling ko magiging Willie Miller ka dahil pareho kayo ng laro,` said Jam_box.

Eric expressed his gratitude for the comparisons: `Natutuwa ako na kino-compare mo ako sa napagaling na player katulad ni Willie. Sabagay maraming pagkakapareho. Pareho kami ng position. Pareho pa kaming kaliwete. Sana nga maging pareho kami ng laro sa PBA. Maraming salamat,` said Eric.

Paul_Anthony_Florencio, a longtime fan also from Marikina, asked Bonbon Custodio when he would again play in the old neighborhood. `Lumaki ako sa University of the Philippines na malapit lang sa Marikina. Madalas akong maglaro sa Marikina kaya siguro napapanood niya ako doon,` said Custodio.

Many of the fans were almost giddy to just interact with their heroes. AikoOledan from Taguig asked Jayr Reyes what position he played. The Alaska big man plays center and forward. KarenJoy another fan told Jayr she was looking forward to watching the game of Alaska against the BMEG Derby Ace Llamados to be held on October 12.

As luck would have it Ervin Sotto interacted face to face through the Webcam with a province-mate from Cavite. Unicahija_022 was from General Trias, Cavite while Ervin was from Kawit, Cavite. `Pareho kaming galing sa bayan ng mga bayani,` said Ervin. She said she watches Alaska games played at the Cuneta Astrodome whenever her scheduled allowed.

Tony Dela Cruz was invited to the birthday party of a couple from the province which he had to politely turn down because it coincided with an Alaska game.

Cherry from Singapore said she missed her basketball heroes and asked Paolo Bugia when the team would go to Singapore to play in front of the thousands of fellow Filipino basketball fans there.

Brandon Cablay assured a skeptical fan that the entire team did indeed take the time to interact with their loyal fans. He was asked: `Are you for real.` Brandon replied that he was indeed for real while waving at the fan through the Webcam.

Sonny Thoss was pleasantly surprised by a fan BossAnjo5 who asked about his newborn baby. `How`s your baby boy?` inquired BossAnjo5. Sonny replied, `He`s doing great. He`s growing very fast too. I`ll train him to play basketball as soon as he can walk.`

Sam Eman received a lot of questions many from his hometown in Mindanao. Many asked how he was doing and how he was preparing for the coming season. Sam said that apart from the regular Alaska team practices he also engaged the services of a personal trainer to strengthen and bulk up his body. Sam is now up to 250 lbs. and is raring to test his newly built up physique against the other giants in the league.

The Alaska Aces players were all happy and thoroughly enjoyed the attention and interest they received from their grateful fans making the 2nd Alaska Aces Cyber Fans Day a rousing success.

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