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Casio, Thoss look back at the 'special' moment when they share the court with Kobe Bryant

by Reynald Magallon, January 28, 2020 11:34am

As the world mourned on the passage of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, fans, cagers and even the basketball's top officials celebrated the life of legendary basketball icon.

And even miles away from Bryant's beloved Los Angeles, tributes poured all over the country with fans gathering at the Araneta Coliseum, the Tenement Court and the House of Kobe in Valenzuela to pay respect to the late NBA legend.

Photo by Niel Victor Masoy/Courtside Philippines

And the love from the Filipino fans isn't exactly strange as Bryant have been in the country seven-times. And there were lucky ones who had the chance to get up close and play with the NBA legend. Alaska Aces' Sonny Thoss and Jvee Casio were two of those.

"Definitely it was an honor to be in the same court, let alone play with him," said Thoss after Alaska's Monday practice at the Gatorade Hoops center.

"To be in the same area with him. It's definitely a special moment in my life, in my basketball career and to play against him, pick up and learn something from him I was very very honored," added the PBA veteran who had the chance to play against Bryant in the PBA All-Stars vs NBA Selection exhibition game in 2011.

Casio, who that time was still with the national team in the first generation of Gilas Pilipinas, share the same sentiments with Thoss.

"One of the most memorable experience sa basketball career ko. Play against those NBA greats especially Kobe, it's once in a life time opportunity, just really grateful to that moment, for that experience and for that opportunity," said Casio.

Asked about their fondest memory of Bryant, the two happily recalled the moment they share the same court with the NBA great.

"May picture ako with him playing and hinawakan nya ako sa jersey ko. I don't know what happened pero parang syempre Kobe Bryant yun eh, I have that picture and ichecherish ko yun," recalled Casio.

Photo from
Photo from

"I was trying to go high side on him and box him out, just that alone I was like wow this is Kobe right here beside me," quipped Thoss.

The two, just like the rest of the world was shocked after the news broke out that Kobe, together with his daughter Gianna, and seven other people died in a helicoptee crash in the wee time of Monday (Manila time).

They also offered prayers to the victims of the crash.

"All you can do right now is pray and hope that the familie recover from it and they find a way to get through this. It is a sad moment not just on basketball schemes but the whole life in general," said Thoss.

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