Connect with us

#TBT: MFFLs from Philippines meet longtime idol Dirk Nowitzki

Reporter: Madie Clinard | Video: Noe Gonzalez

It happens from time to time. We get a message from a random Mavs fan asking if there’s a way we can hook them up with tickets or some sort of VIP pass to a Dallas Mavericks game. Usually, there isn’t much that can be done, but we try to do what we can when we can for our fellow MFFLs through ticket giveaways on social media.

About a month ago, I got a message from Kenneth Veneracion telling me he’s a huge Mavs fan, so much so that he and his brother Kobe were making the trek all the way from the Philippines to watch their first Mavs game in Dallas. Kenneth told me that he and his brother have been Mavs fans ever since they started playing basketball, and as far back as 15 years ago when they watched the Mavs play the Lakers in Los Angeles — but they had never seen the Mavs play in Dallas.

Being half Filipino, I instantly felt a connection to them and wanted to do everything in my power to give these dedicated fans a true ‘Mavs Fan For Life’ experience of a lifetime while they were here.

Through the help of the Mavs organization, they were able to take part in the Mavs Whataburger High Five Line and briefly meet one of their idols, Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs Whataburger High Five Line is a unique MFFL experience where fans are given the opportunity to experience the thrill of cheering on their favorite players as they leave the locker room and head to the court for pre-game warm-ups, the National Anthem, and player introductions.

“We were drawn to Dirk’s humility and his persona,” Kenneth told me. “For us, he is unlike any other NBA superstar which is why we fell in love with him.”

Despite a 14-hour time difference between Dallas and Manila, Kenneth and Kobe haven’t let their Mavs fandom falter over the years — especially because of their love for Dirk.

“We wake up early in the morning to watch the Mavs play. One of my most memorable Mavs moments was when Dirk [Nowitzki] made the ‘and-one’ lay-up against Manu Ginóbili and the San Antonio Spurs during the 2006 Western Conference Semifinals,” Kenneth said.

Even though it’s a down season for the Mavs, Kenneth and Kobe made a scheduled 10-day trip to Dallas. They were able to catch two home games, on December 12 vs. Spurs and December 18 vs. Suns, ensuring they got one last look at 2011 Finals MVP and NBA Champion before it was too late.

“We made this trip this year because we realized that it might be our last chance to achieve our dream to watch Dirk play for the Mavs,” Kenneth said. “We really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Mavs game, especially because our seats were so close to the Mavs. It was so much better than we expected. It was so surreal.”

Originally from General Santos City, the home of Manny Pacquiao, the brothers are now living in Manila due to their studies.

“Actually, to be honest, most of the people here in the Philippines are Lakers fans because of Kobe [Bryant],” Kenneth admits. “But there are dedicated MFFL’s that are also avid supporters of our beloved Mavs!”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Dallas Mavericks Whataburger High Five Line is your chance to give your favorite Dallas Mavericks a “high five” as they walk through the players tunnel before taking the court.

This unique MFFL experience is reserved exclusively for Mavs Season Ticket Holders before every regular season home game. Fans are given the opportunity to experience the thrill of cheering on their favorite players as they leave the locker room and head to the court for pre-game warm-ups, the National Anthem and player introductions.

While no autographs are allowed, fans are permitted to take photos and video.

For more information on the Whataburger High Five Line, visit

Dallas Sports Fanatic owner, credentialed media writer, and photographer covering the Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Dallas Wings, FC Dallas and college football

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Recent Posts