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2019 NBA Finals Diaries: Two tickets for $101,000 and a wedge of Tanduay heave


PhilBoxing.com




OAKLAND. Win or lose in these Finals, the Golden State Warriors will move their collective talents next season to San Francisco, leaving behind 47 years worth of memories in a city that embraced this franchise in both good times and bad.

With that thought lurking in my mind during last Saturday's Game 4, I surveyed the Oracle and appreciated it one last time, like a starstruck lover darting that last kiss.

Opened in 1966, per Wikipedia, it is the oldest arena in the league. It has gone through several name changes and one major renovation in 1997. But it will always be remembered as the proud home of the Warriors, who planted the seeds of their dynasty on these hallowed grounds.

The air of finality wafted in the dense air. Fans crowded the official team stores, some taking advantage of the 50 percent discount sale on all jerseys while most were just happy to grab whatever memento they could --- shirts, key chains, mugs,lanyards, etc.



Like all NBA arenas, security was tight as yoga pants. I was wanded with a metal detector upon entrance while my backpack was thoroughly checked and tagged. Canines and armed security were everywhere, including Oakland's finest, a few of whom were toting automatic rifles.



Only NBA-TV and ABC broadcasters were allowed to set shop on the court, but the sidelines were teeming with reporters from different news outlets from all over the world.

Watching the action live on-site were not cheap. According to the Mercury News, the cheapest ticket for Game 4 was valued at $680 at section 207. An extremely wealthy mystery buyer paid $101,015 for two courtside seats, a Finals record, said business reporter Darren Rovell.

BEVERAGE HEAVEN. As I strolled along section 226, I stumbled into the Tanduay Rum Bar and immediately reached for my pockets to buy a shot or two, or three.



I've sipped my share of different rum brands through the years, but Tanduay is the only one that makes me whole. It's the enhanced liquid that I've toasted countless joys with, the reliable go-to drink that eased some of my life's pains.

Unfortunately, the bar was closed when I found this oasis with just three minutes left in the fourth quarter. But the bartender told me a single shot of Tanduay costs $14. If you want to double the pleasure, it's $28.

To illustrate how expensive arena drinks are, consider this --- A 750 ml bottle of Tanduay Asian rum is priced at only $21.99 at Cask Cartel while a 750 ml bottle of Tanduay Silver can be had for $17.99 at Binny's liquor depot. Just saying.

After the Raptors secured Game 4 with a 105-92 victory, a sense of sadness engulfed Oracle, not counting, of course, the two thousand or so Toronto fans who filled the lower bowl chanting and singing songs.

If Game 4 was indeed the last game the Warriors played at Oracle, it was anything but memorable.

They shot just 35 of 78 from the field (44.9 percent) and 8-of-27 from long distance (29.6 percent).
They fell 3-1 and didn't exactly go down in a blaze of glory.

But who knows, with Kevin Durant expected to play in Game 5, the Warriors could force a Game 6 back to Oakland next Friday.

Until then, sayonara, Oracle Arena.

Fans trickle in at Oracle Arena for Game 4. The Tanduay Rum bar is one of the most popular adult drinking spots at the arena. Reporters from all over the world flock to cover these Finals while security is super heavy. (photos Ponciano Melo Jr @ philboxing.com)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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