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Basketball: UAE OFWs’ favorite pastime against homesickness

by | Feature

Sep. 11, 19 | 12:45 pm

File photo courtesy of Kabayan Kamera Klub

DUBAI: Filipinos grew up playing basketball – be it in improvised street side courts or indoor gyms.

So, what better way to ward of weekend boredom and homesickness than by joining tourneys that Dubai has no shortage of?

One tournament organizer is Roland Crisostomo, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who started off coaching and whose team clinched 35 championships after championships. Crisostomo obtained a license from Dubai Economic Development (DED) and in 2014 started holding basketball leagues.

Coach Roland Crisostomo

“Malaking tulong ang basketball sa pang-alis homesick at yun iba nakatulong din makahanap trabaho kapag may bagong kakilala,” Crisostomo said.

He added that basketball, aside from helping OFWs stay fit, also promotes camaraderie and keeps Pinoys away from vices.

Popular among the tournaments are the inter-emirates league, as well as professional groups like architects and so on.

Amor Echague

Amor Echague, who sits is a committee that has been regularly holding basketball tournaments since August last year, for his part, said they have voluntarily been organizing games as a way of community advocacy.

“Lagi naming ine-emphasize yung team work para di maging selfish, which relates sa araw-araw na buhay natin bilang OFW na kung saan ay kailangang tayong mga Pinoy kahit saan tayo sama-sama din palagi,” said Echague, whose day job it is being a medical claims supervisor.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 2.5 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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