Hoops Paradise: The Philippines’ Love of the Game

Hoops Paradise: The Philippines’ Love of the Game

ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth and Titan's Nikko Ramos explore how the Philippines came to be a nation of Hoop Heads, from the origins of the world's second professional basketball league, to the Filipino-Americans in the NBA today. Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat, ESPN's Pablo Torre, legendary PBA coach Tim Cone, the first Filipino-American to play in the NBA, Raymond Townsend, and more, join Cassidy and Nikko to figure out how the Philippines developed such a unique love affair with basketball.


March 30, 2023 46 mins

In the final episode of the series, Cassidy and Nikko are joined by PBA legend and current Assistant Coach for the NBA G League's Stockton Kings, as well as ESPN and Meadowlark's Pablo Torre, to discuss what it would mean for the first born and raised Filipino player to make it to the NBA. 

Thank you for listening to the series and coming with us on this journey to explore the Philippines' basketball culture. We are grateful for e...

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In 1978, the Golden State Warriors drafted 6'3" guard Raymond Townsend, the first Filipino-American in the NBA. Since then, the Utah Jazz's Jordan Clarkson and the Houston Rockets' Jalen Green have carried the torch, representing the NBA dream to Filipinos around the world. In this episode, ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth and Titan's Nikko Ramos talk with Raymond Townsend and the Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra, the first Asian-American NBA He...

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March 14, 2023 36 mins

In 1979, the Washington Bullets visited Manila for a game against a selection of PBA players, marking the first official visit from NBA players to the Philippines. Since then, a number of players have visited, both for NBA-sponsored games and events, like the Houston Rockets v Indiana Pacers 2013 preseason game, and for their own sneaker tours and personal visits. LeBron James has been memorialized at the famous Tenement court with...

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March 7, 2023 45 mins

There are a couple major differences between the NBA and the world’s second oldest pro basketball league, the Philippine Basketball Association (otherwise known as the PBA). For one, the PBA season never really stops. Three back-to-back conferences stretch throughout the year, with the major difference being roster restrictions. Depending on the conference, teams are limited by how many “imports” they can have, and their heights. I...

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February 28, 2023 37 mins

What if I told you the 'skyhook' actually originated in the Philippines? Okay, that one might not be true... but what if? 

Only ten years after James Naismith hung two peach baskets and refereed the first game of basketball, there were already reports of American soldiers introducing the sport to Filipino locals in Manila. It caught on quickly, first with college students, and then becoming as central to Philippine culture as adob...

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February 21, 2023 39 mins

In 1998, while a young Cassidy Hubbarth sat next to her mother on their couch in Chicago, yelling at the TV as the Bulls went for their second three-peat, Nikko Ramos was playing at recess in Manila, eagerly waiting for updates from “recess runners” who darted between the canteen and a payphone to relay the game’s play-by-play from a cousin’s bootleg satellite. A 13-hour time difference, a hazy satellite feed, and questionably-accu...

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