By Ed Tait, Winnipeg Free Press

It is snowing lightly in north Winnipeg, and there is that distinct sound of crunching snow beneath boots and shoes as fans make their pilgrimage from all directions.

Inside, the facility is already bustling, and every seat in the stands is filled well before the first game is scheduled to start. The concession stands are humming, the politicians are doing their thing shaking hands and slapping backs, and there is a palpable feel of giddiness.

Moments later, a singer takes the microphone and — with the aid of a spirited crowd — two national anthems are enthusiastically belted out: O Canada and... Lupang Hinirang — the national anthem of the Philippines. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Garden City Collegiate. Welcome to the opening of the Philippine Basketball Association season.


Photo Credit Mike Deal, Winnipeg Free Press
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