According to my 2009 Forecast, I’m supposedly fated to travel—not travel as in more commutes between home in Seria and work in Bandar Seri Begawan—but travel as in overseas assignments which is what my forecast says without being vague. “ROOSTER: Smooth business deal and good business relationship. There are chances of promotion and overseas assignments.” This year I’ve skipped two overseas assignments for personal reasons (reasons that were beyond question of timing but also of life’s priorties). Of the two assignments, one was the May 9 Jack Daniels Grasshopper RIGHT NOW Concert in Singapore where I was selected as official photographer to BREEZE Magazine. Second assignment was the Rainforest Music Festival where I had agreed to represent The Brunei Times to cover but I passed.
This time when Barracudas Team Owner Zaty invited me along to cover this inaugural event and what could potentially be the start of something huge for Brunei’s basketball community, I said Yes in a whim. It’s hard to pass up an opportunity to represent one’s country especially when you’re not a member of the official media. Thank you Zaty for the opportunity and also Reeda whom I understand recommended me for the trip.
Our journey from KL leading up to the Official Launch in Makati, Philippines
At the Renaissance Hotel in Makati while waiting for our room assignments, Singapore Slingers General Manager Michael Johnson and I got acquainted. The Slingers were champions of the Brunei Cup 2008 and Michael expresses his disappointment following the cancellation of what is “the most anticipated regional basketball tournament” in the Brunei sports calendar. Up until this trip, I’ve not really followed basketball matches in Brunei much. My main game is badminton and when it comes to basketball, it’s more a solo thing for me which I can indulge in the comfort of my home (and catching some sun at the same time).
We traveled in a small group so at some point in the journey we had gotten acquainted and comfortable with one another. In fact, the Brunei basketball community isn’t that big either so one way or another, we all known each other—I have a cousin and nephews who are avid players and compete in local tournaments—so when I mentioned a few names there was immediate association. Xavier, who was my seat neighbour on the trip on more than one occasion, is no exception and said being picked for ABL has been a dream come true for him. Having played basketball since young, he’s dreamt of playing in the big league and compete in major tournaments. This echoes the Chairman’s motto about turning dreams into reality and ABL is now a part of Xavier’s reality.
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