Kobe Bryant
FIBA.com
Filipino politicians, celebrities join the world in mourning Kobe Bryant
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - January 27, 2020 - 12:38pm

MANILA, Philippines — Shock and disbelief ran rife through social media as the game of basketball lost one of its very best after reports came out that Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash at the age of 41.

And for a country that seemed to regard that very game as something of a religion, the loss from miles away was still too much to bear for the Philippines. Following the announcement of Bryant's tragic passing, local celebrities and politicians alike spoke out on the NBA legend's untimely passing. 

The Office of the President was among those who spoke out over the basketball superstar's passing. 

"Mr. Bryant was a frequent visitor in the Philippines. He was well-loved by his Filipino fans," Malacañang said in a statement sent to reporters. "On the hard court, he was a sight to behold with his dexterity and accuracy in sinking that ball in the ring. He was a master of his craft. The basketball world has lost one of its legendary greats." 

Even Presidential Communications chief Martin Andanar mentioned Bryant's passing in a press briefing, saying it was among the "bad news" of the year so far. 

Senators Imee Marcos and Risa Hontiveros, actress Maine Mendoza and TV sports anchor Sev Sarmenta also spoke out on their respective Twitter accounts. 

In a statement, Sen. Sonny Angara said that "Kobe died with his sneakers on, for the love of the game."

The helicopter crash that caused the Black Mamba's death happened as Bryant was bringing his daughter to a basketball tournament. 

"Thanks Kobe for bringing joy to this basketball nation, for visiting us, and for telling your Filipino fans never to get tired in chasing their hoop dreams," Angara wrote. 

"The Palace extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, loved ones and fans around the globe who Kobe left behind," Malacañang added.

"We share in their grief."

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