Like most Filipinos, Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson idolizes basketball icons Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Robert Jaworski—and it is their same grit, passion, and determination that he will bring to the presidency once elected following the May 9, 2022 polls.
Lacson admitted in the “Manila Bulletin Hot Seat” interview over the weekend that he has long admired Jordan, and “The King” James after him, as the great US National Basketball Association players are the only ones he follows, not any particular NBA team.
Locally, the longtime public servant has followed “The Living Legend” Robert Jaworski—whom he worked with in the Senate from 2001 to 2004—owing to his “Never Say Die” mentality as the revered player-coach of fan favorite Ginebra from the 1980s to 1990s.
“Talagang maski noong araw talagang number one idol ko sa NBA si Jordan. Maski ‘nung lumipat siya from Chicago to Wizards, doon ako sa Wizards ngayon nag-roo-root. Ganoon kasi ako. Dalawa lang ‘yung players na talagang [idol ko] sa NBA: Jordan and Lebron James,” Lacson said.
[Even back in the day, my number one idol in the NBA is (Michael) Jordan. Even when he moved from Chicago to (the Washington) Wizards, I was rooting for the Wizards—that’s how I am. I’ve only idolized two players in the NBA: Jordan and LeBron James.]
“Kaya marami na rin akong Lebron James na shirt at saka meron din akong sapatos ni Lebron James. But, you know, I think Jordan—Michael Jordan unequal pa rin up to this point. Wala na nga siya sa NBA kumikita [pa],” the three-term senator added, as people have noticed his casual attire accented by Air Jordan sneakers.
[That’s why I have a lot of LeBron James shirts, and I also have LeBron James’ shoes. But you know, I think Jordan—Michael Jordan is still unequaled up to this point. He’s not (playing) in the NBA anymore but he’s still earning.]
He clarified, however, that he doesn’t buy the Jordan or James merchandise, but wears them as gifts from his sons who are fellow basketball fanatics.
“Ako, pagbili ng anak ko nito para ibigay sa akin, meron siyang (Jordan) royalty rito e, lagi siyang may royalty diyan,” Lacson told the Bulletin editors and hosts.
[When my son buys these items to give to me, (Jordan) gets a royalty from these, he always gets a royalty from them.]
Meanwhile, the former national police chief said he shares Jaworski’s “Never Say Die” mentality on the hardcourt, as he followed the Philippine Basketball Association legend throughout his career.
“Ang sinusundan ko naman noon si Jawo—Jaworski kasi gusto ko ‘yung… Alam mo ‘yung, kung hindi man smooth maglaro, ‘yung medyo—‘yung determined ba, ‘yung determination. Ganoon ang gusto ko talaga. ‘Yung nakita ko ‘yung passion, determination, parang hindi napapagod,” Lacson said.
[Back then, I was following ‘Jawo’—Jaworski because I liked… You know, even if he didn’t play smoothly, you could see he was determined, he had determination. That’s what I really like —to see the passion, determination, and playing tirelessly.]