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Mangonon: Billy Ray Bates Inducted Into Filipino Basketball Hall Of Fame

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Fidel Mangonon III writes on Interaksyon.com that former Portland Trail Blazers guard Billy Ray Bates has been elected to the Philippines Basketball Association's Hall of Fame in Manila last week. Here's an excerpt from his induction speech. ----------------------- You know I like talking, but being in front of 20,000 people without a basketball in my hand is harder than stopping me from scoring 46 points in a game back when I was playing here in 1983. But even harder was leaving the PBA and the Philippines because of what the PBA and the Filipino people have meant to me. ... I take this award as a symbol of the love of the Filipino fans have for me. My career would not be what it was without cheers and well-wishes and welcoming attitude toward me. You accepted me for who I was and showed me love. There is no award big enough to represent my gratitude for my fans. I love you. ----------------------- Mangonon writes that Bates now hopes to catch on in a coaching position in the PBA as well. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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