There is no question as to how much we, Filipinos, love the game of basketball. We are a basketball-loving country that the ‘basketball gods’ have cursed in height, but have totally blessed with big hearts and passion for the game.

From the local collegiate rivalry between Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles and De La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP to the recently concluded epic Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, we love to watch teams who never give up battle it out to the finish.

Admit it – we support the underdogs. We love teams that never say die.

And what other basketball team, local or international, personifies this mantra more than Barangay Ginebra San Miguel? This is what brought the Robert Jaworski-led ball club to the hearts of millions of Philippine basketball fans, in the first place.

Fans are the main reason, aside from winning the championship, why players like Robert Jaworski, Mark Caguioa, and Jayjay Helterbrand keep on playing basketball. Despite the tough competition other teams offer, the injuries that they suffer from, the age that baffles their abilities, these kind of players play for the sake of the fans. Fans who return their effort with the support, gratification, and the respect that they deserve.

So, what are Ginebra fans like?

Ginebra fans are passionate fans. I remember a time way back in 1996, it was the championship game between the Alaska Milkmen and Ginebra San Miguel. I just started watching basketball a few months back, and I was instantly a Ginebra fan. When Ginebra lost that series,  it felt like the whole world has crashed on me. I felt so bad I started hitting myself. I am still that passionate Ginebra back then – I just wouldn’t hurt myself anymore whenever Ginebra loses games.

Ginebra fans are the happiest people in the world whenever the Gin Kings win games. “Tingnan mo yan, tapos na yung laro pero hindi pa rin sila umaalis hanggang sa matapos akong ma-interview. Ginebra fans are the greatest fans in the world.” These are words from reigning PBA Most Valuable Player Mark Caguioa in one of his Player of the Game interviews. It’s like a feast, or a celebration, or winning the championship in every game the team wins. As much as we are hurt in Ginebra setbacks, we feel twice, even thrice or a thousand times happier in Ginebra victories.

Lastly, and most importantly, Ginebra fans are not quitters. Ginebra fans are from all walks of life – from the everyday tambay, to the isaw vendors, even the biggest of stars. And despite the disappointments we face in our team’s setbacks, we never give up on them. Instead, we continue to believe in them and fight with them.

Just like Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings face difficulties on the hardcourt, we also face trials in our everyday lives. And we never give up. No matter how hard life could be, or how big of a problem this world face us with. No matter how many lemons are thrown at us, we just don’t quit.

We never say die.