Cebuano shipping magnate Chester Cokaliong shares experience in historic NBA Global Games Philippines | Inquirer News
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‘ONCE IN A LIFETIME’

Cebuano shipping magnate Chester Cokaliong shares experience in historic NBA Global Games Philippines

By: - Editorial Assistant / @CalvinCordova
/ 08:30 AM October 13, 2013

Witnessing the first-ever National Basketball Association (NBA) game played in the country came at a steep price. But for shipping magnate Chester Cokaliong and his family, it was all worth it.

“It was a once-in-a lifetime experience. What you paid was worth it,” said Cokaliong, whose family was one of the more than 12,000 people who watched Thursday’s historic game between the Indiana Pacers and the Houston Rockets at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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Cokaliong and his wife Anna Lynne were joined in the much-talked about extravaganza by their children Chase, Chanel and Chaz.

The family occupied the VIP Section just behind the bench of the Pacers, which was worth P54,000.

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Cokaliong, who is also into competitive basketball, revealed it was his third time to watch an NBA game but the recent game was a more memorable one.

“It was a different feeling because we were so near the court. We were just behind the Indiana bench so it was really a close encounter,” said Cokaliong.

As part of his birthday celebration and the couple’s silver wedding anniversary, Cokaliong and his wife also watched an NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trailblazers when they traveled to Los Angeles, California last year.

“It is hard to buy tickets for an NBA game in the US. That’s why it was a great opportunity to watch an NBA game right here in our country,” said Cokaliong.

The businessman said it was his two sons who informed him about the match.

“We already bought tickets the first day that it was made available to the public.” he said.

As a Rockets fan, Cokaliong became more excited when a few weeks before the game, All-Star center Dwight Howard joined Houston.

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“It was a bonus. Imagine, you get to watch the likes of James Harden and Jeremy Lin then Dwight joined the Rockets. So the level of excitement went up a notch higher,” said Cokaliong.

The atmosphere in the venue was vibrant throughout the game.

“It had a complete NBA atmosphere. You’ll hear ohs and ahs in every dunk by Howard and every crisp pass by Lin. It was very lively especially that popular personalities were all over the venue,” said Cokaliong.

The event was well-attended and attracted noted personalities. “I shook hands with Vice President Jejomar Binay and also Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Jocelyn Pesquera.”

The presence of NBA legends Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Ron Harper, Robert Horry, Jalen Rose and even NBA Commissioner David Stern also added glitter.

It may have been costly witnessing the rare event but for people like the Cokaliongs, it was the opportunity to be a part of such historic event that mattered most.

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TAGS: Chester Cokaliong, NBA, NBA Global Games Philippines, Sports
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