We were at: Philips Singapore Cup 2006, Singapore Indoor Stadium, August 11-13th. By Lee Hwee Cheng.
For more pictures, go to the soulbreath pictures gallery.

There are some of us who have been blessed with good fortune (both in the luck and in the dollar sense). And then, there are those of us severely-deprived, star-crazed, NBA-obsessed baller-fans who religiously drag ourselves out of bed and glue ourselves to Channel-23 on the goggle box Saturday mornings.


All of us finally had much to rejoice about when some seven-feet-under dudes stormed into town and rocked the entire Singapore Indoor Stadium. If we can’t get the real thing, then we suppose a (large) bit of pseudo-NBA action should suffice. It felt almost like watching a Grizzlies game at San Antonio. Or, was it a Nets game at Detroit? For all of three good days, the home crowd enjoyed nothing short of a wild time, entertained by the good teams from Argentina, Slovenia, Spain and Serbia & Montenegro.

The Philips Singapore Cup 2006, into its second year of running, was, in truth, a prelude to the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan for the four European powerhouses. But anyhow, we had nothing to complain of, no? (For the uninitiated, the FIBA World Championship is to basketball what the recently-concluded FIFA World Cup is to football.)

If we weren’t all gawking at Darko, we were collectively ooh-ing and aah-ing at Ginobili. Ok, stop screaming.




Then, of course, there’s Gasol – the younger one named Pau (read: Paul, not ‘pao’).

Pau Gasol


His wild manes, while distracting and unflattering at times, only made him more Samson-like. We, though not quite Delilah, love.

And if, in every game on earth, there is a bad boy to love, Delfino wins that category hands-down – tattoos on arms and attitude-to-boot. Orlando is such a lucky place.



But the one that takes the whole of the cake doesn’t, surprisingly, make his living in the NBA. Juan-Carlos Navarro of Spanish descent, not anywhere near seven-foot in height, amazed not just the crowd but the entire panel of officials to bring home with him the Most Valuable Player trophy with a mere 22-point outing in the Finals.



The shooting, the dunking, the triple-plays, the thrash-talks in the main court weren’t the only entertainment we reveled in. The fans in the stands were a blast. Kids, and ‘overaged kids’ alike, all seemed to have found the sacrifice of a precious weekend very much worthwhile.



We overheard: Eh, eh, eh! Who’s that dude?!

The dude that unsuspectingly turned up at the game turned out to be a star in his own right. And in his own playing field. A football field, that is. Gabriel Batistuta.


Who? Go find out.


We love the Philips Singapore Cup 2006 – for all the twinkling stars and unforgettable experience. And, not forgetting, all the bone-breaking action that left you sleepless for nights.

Till the next Singapore Cup in 2007…


For more pictures, go to the soulbreath pictures gallery.