Just two days before the start of the “Terrific 12” basketball competition in Macau, disaster struck in the form of Typhoon Mangkhut.
The teams, which had already gathered in Macau to prepare for the competition, decided to promote the spirit of the league by helping with the cleaning works being carried out across the region by public entities and other volunteers.
Matt Beyer, Head of Asia League, told the South China Morning Post, “Some of my colleagues and I went into the harder hit areas and did volunteer work with the Macau Women’s Association to clean up rubble and things like that. We may send some of the teams if there is still work to be done, as sort of a community outreach thing.”
Noting the unplanned response when the typhoon occurred, Beyer added that such community activities are in line with the spirit of the Asia League, which aims to “give back to people, on and off the court.”
“This year, not only did we do the typhoon thing but we’re working with the YMCA and the Bosco Youth Association to have their kids come and play during half-time for the group stages, like three- on-three games. It’s fun for little kids to go on to a pro court and play,” said Beyer.
He expressed relief that all teams managed to make their way to Macau in time.
“We looked at various backup plans for the weather and if we were going to need to move the games back a day and cancel our rest day. Thank goodness it didn’t have to be that way. Yes, it made the teams a little late, but everyone showed up.”
The 12 clubs from China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines are in Macau for the “Terrific 12”, an extended version of the Super 8 basketball tournament launched last year. It was revived in July and is currently taking place in the Studio City Event Centre, with its final round scheduled for September 23. RM