NBA, PBA bubbles top Yahoo PH's most searched events for 2020

The recently concluded PBA bubble is one of the most talked about topics in Yahoo Philippines. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Even if the world stopped a bit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no stopping the Filipinos from wanting for basketball action this year.

Good thing, the NBA and the PBA pushed through with their bubbles.

The world's first two recognized professional basketball leagues topped Yahoo's most searched events in the Philippines for this year as revealed on Monday.

In fact, all the top searched events in the said search engine for this year are all sporting events since they were the only ones that pushed through amid the pandemic.

The NBA bubble, which took place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, became the model of how professional and even amateur events should run amid the COVID-19 scare.

Eventually, the PBA followed suit with its own bubble in Angeles, which ended last week with Ginebra capturing its first Philippine Cup championship in 13 years.

The said bubble will be the pattern of how the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will organize next year's FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers February window.

The NBA also became the top searched event this year due to the sudden death of legend Kobe Bryant.

In fact, the news about the former Los Angeles Laker's helicopter crash was the second most searched report in Yahoo Philippines.

Only overshadowing Bryant's death was the eruption of the Taal Volcano two weeks before he passed away.

Meanwhile, the three grand slam tennis events that pushed through this year also made the Top 10.

The Australian Open, the only grand slam that happened pre-lockdown, was in third, while the French Open, which became the final grand slam of the tennis season due to the pandemic, came in fifth. The US Open is in ninth.

Partly attributing to the Australian Open and French Open being trending searches this year, aside from the superstar tennisters, was the conquest of Filipina teen sensation Alex Eala, who won it all in the girls doubles of the Australian Open and made the semifinals in the girls singles of the French Open.

On the other hand, despite not having a match this year and his basketball league postponing indefinitely due to the pandemic, eight-division world boxing champion and MPBL founder Manny Pacquiao remains among the top celebrity searches in the Philippines for this year.

The sportsman and senator landed fifth in the list of the top male public figures being searched in Yahoo.

Attributing to the trend were the speculations on Pacquiao's next bout and his promotion hitting some jackpot thanks to John Riel Casimero's successful title defense and Eumir Marcial joining the group.

On how it arrived at these results, Yahoo Philippines said, "Our team analyzes users’ anonymized interest patterns based on what was searched for, read, recommended, and shared. It takes into account a number of factors, including absolute volume and growth from previous periods to see which themes and trends bubble to the surface," adding that no popularity contest was involved here.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno