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紐時賞析/美國外最大粉絲來源國 為什麼菲律賓愛籃球?

2019-06-26 15:49聯合報 紐時賞析

美國國家籃球協會(NBA)菲律賓分會總監辛松受訪時說:「大家常說,籃球就是菲律賓...
美國國家籃球協會(NBA)菲律賓分會總監辛松受訪時說:「大家常說,籃球就是菲律賓人的宗教。」 路透社
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Why the Philippines Is a Hoops Haven

為什麼菲律賓愛籃球?

Go to any street corner in the Philippines. Any village. Any beach. Even a church. You’re likely to see a basketball jersey.

在菲律賓隨便去到哪個街角,哪個村落,哪個海灘,甚至哪個教堂,你應該都會看到籃球衣。

“It’s often described as a religion,” Carlo Roy Singson, managing director of NBA Philippines, said in an interview.

美國國家籃球協會(NBA)菲律賓分會總監辛松受訪時說:「大家常說,籃球就是菲律賓人的宗教。」

Indeed, basketball is ingrained in Filipino culture and has been for more than a century.

The sport’s permeation of a country of about 105 million began in the late 1800s, when Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States in 1898 after the Spanish-American War.

的確,籃球在菲律賓文化扎根已超過一個世紀。 籃球於19世紀末傳入這個目前有一億零五百萬人口的國家,終至遍布每個角落。1898年西班牙在美西戰爭中戰敗,把菲律賓割讓給美國。

A large facet of the introduction of the fledgling game was Christian missionaries, who were part of the YMCA, or Young Men’s Christian Association. The game’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith, conceived of the sport at what was then known as the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.

籃球這個新興運動傳入菲律賓,很大一部分是靠基督教傳教士,這些傳教士是基督教國際社會服務團體「基督教青年會」(YMCA)的成員。籃球發明人奈史密斯博士就是在美國麻州春田市當時名為「國際YMCA訓練學校」的地方,想出籃球這種運動。

To take a round object and throw it into a peach hoop, as Naismith pictured it, could be a character-building endeavor. Soon after he invented it, missionaries began spreading it around the world, particularly in the Far East and the Philippines, in U.S.-controlled areas — a kind of sports imperialism.

奈史密斯設想,拿起一個球形物並將它丟進一個桃木筐,這種努力過程可以培養品格。在他發明籃球後不久,傳教士開始把這種運動傳布到世界各地,尤其是美國控制的遠東地區和菲律賓,算是一種運動殖民。

The NBA and its players, recognizing the sport’s popularity in the Philippines, have invested time there in recent years. In 2013, the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers played a preseason game there. According to a spokesman for the league, the NBA’s Facebook page has 7.3 million followers from the Philippines, the largest of any country outside of the United States.

NBA及其運動員認識到籃球在菲律賓大受歡迎,近年在菲律賓投入許多時間。2013年,休士頓火箭隊和印第安納溜馬隊在菲律賓打了場季前賽。根據NBA發言人的說法,NBA臉書專頁有730萬名粉絲來自菲律賓,菲律賓是美國之外最大的粉絲來源國。

This all began in the early 1900s, when basketball was introduced into schools in the Philippines. In 1913, the first Far Eastern Championship Games — an early version of what is now known as the Asian Games — took place in Manila, featuring several East Asian countries taking part in Olympics-style competitions, including basketball.

這一切全始於20世紀初,當時籃球傳入菲律賓各級學校。1913年,亞洲運動會前身、第一屆遠東運動會在馬尼拉舉行,幾個東亞國家參與奧運式的競賽,包括籃球。

It was the first of 10 biennial events, before disagreements between the countries disbanded the games. The Philippines won gold in nine of them.

遠東運動會兩年一次,總共辦過十次,後來因為各國意見不合而停辦。菲律賓在其中九次贏得籃球金牌。

The country’s population took to the sport en masse. In 1936, its national team made the Olympics and finished fifth. At the 1954 FIBA World Championship, the Philippines won a bronze medal, the best finish for an Asian country.

菲律賓舉國上下都愛上籃球。1936年,菲律賓國家隊打進奧運並拿下第五名。在1954年世界杯男籃錦標賽中,菲律賓贏得銅牌,寫下亞洲國家最佳成績。

Two decades later, in 1975, the Philippine Basketball Association, Asia’s first basketball league, was created. These games kept the sport at the forefront of Filipino culture and helped grow interest throughout the 20th century.

20年後,1975年,菲律賓職業籃球聯賽開打,是亞洲第一個職業籃球聯賽。這些比賽讓籃球處在菲律賓文化的重要位置,並在整個20世紀激發菲律賓人對籃球的興趣。

文/Sopan Deb 譯/李京倫

菲律賓奧運馬尼拉紐約時報

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