BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba, is alive here and will play for the LA Lakers’ fierce rival, the Bulls, not the Chicago-based one but that in a village called Banago.
The local Kobe was born and raised in Langis sub-village, unlike the dead one who grew up in Philadelphia and moved to Italy.
“It was my grandfather, a basketball fanatic, who gave me that name,” Kobe Bryant Romero tells DNX.
It was not until he was 11 that Kobe Bryant Romero knew who his namesake was.
A year after he was hooked on basketball.
This year, Kobe Bryant plays as the starting power forward for the Banago Bulls in the Greg Gasataya Basketball League, the tournament named after and supported by the lone district solon here.
Standing 5’10,” youth council chair Rem Planilla describes Kobe Bryant as a “determined player” who can hustle and score under the post but with equal lethality from mid- and long-range.
These two words, Rem says, could very well describe Kobe Bryant who turns 19 this month.
Kobe hopes Banago Bulls could better its finish in the League’s second season.
Last year, they finished in the Magic Eight.
He hopes they could make it to the First Four.
And he knows it is only through training. Hard, focused that they can make it.
Like what his namesake did.