New York — Around 800 Filipinos and Filipino-Americans from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut went to the iconic Madison Square Garden to cheer for the New York Knicks as it took on Chicago Bulls on 28 October 2019.
In celebration of Filipino American History Month, members of the Staten Island Philippine American Group (Sipag New York), Queens Long Island Basketball, the Outstanding Filipinos in America (TOFA), Rise Hoops, and Xanders Basketball joined the event. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, who got off the plane from Brazil, went straight to Madison Square Garden to join the enthusiastic Fil-Am community in the celebration.
Philippine Consulate General in New York and Philippine Mission officers, staff, and their family, also participated in several pre-game and post-game activities at the court to make the Filipino Night, celebrating Filipino-American History Month, a memorable experience.
Fil-Am organizations members, including kids, participated in the pre-game, half-time, post-game activities.
Second generation Fil-Am Jordan Paderon, an account executive at Madison Square Garden and son of a retired Philippine diplomat, said that he has been working on this Filipino Night project for a couple of years now. After seeing that the NBA has now a roster of prominent Fil-Ams such as NBA player Jordan Clarkson and Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, the Madison Square Garden management finally gave the project a go.
The Consulate General in New York continues to engage the Fil-Am community, particularly the younger generations, through sports.
Another Filipino Heritage Night with the Brooklyn Nets is set to happen on 01 December 2019 at Barclays Center, New York.