Over 2,000 Filipino and Filipino-Americans from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut went to the Barclays Center to cheer for the Brooklyn Nets as it took on the Miami Heat last December 1, 2019 in a game billed as fourth Annual Filipino Heritage Night.
A pre-game cultural performance of the Philippine traditional “tinikling” dance was presented by the Filipino School of New York and New Jersey. Young Filipino-American (Fil-Am) basketball enthusiasts got to stand in the court in front of Brooklyn Nets players during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner which was sang by Fil-Am artists.
Several groups of young Filipino and Filipino-American basketball players were given the opportunity to play in the Brooklyn Nets court during halftime. The short game of the kids from the local basketball teams FABLI, JSAG, NJ Ballers, and FALCON showcased the Filipinos’ innate love and passion for basketball.
Philippine brand Tanduay Rum, a sponsor of the Brooklyn Nets, was prominently displayed in the venue throughout the game.
One of the event organizers, second generation Fil-Am Mark Anthony Agbuya, who also organized the successful Filipino Heritage Night from 2016 to 2018, thanked everyone who came to support the event. After the game, Fil-Am Miami Heat Coach Eric Spoelstra greeted the Filipino fans and supporters.
Deputy Consul General Kerwin Tate and Consul Arman Talbo were invited for the ceremonial turn-over of the basketball to the referee before the start of the game.
The Philippine Consulate General in New York actively engages the Fil-Am community particularly the young generation through sports.