There is perhaps nowhere in the world where the heartbeat of basketball is felt more than the streets of Manila. The game is played wherever there is space, be it in cemeteries or busy intersections. So it makes sense that at the most famous of these public courts, within the walls of The Tenement housing complex in Taguig, residents and artists have worked tirelessly since Kobe Bryant's death painting an on-court mural to remember the NBA legend and his daughter Gianna.
"This is our tribute to them," said Eddie Barbuena, who coaches The Tenement's basketball team. "We will always love you, Kobe Bryant."
Over the past five years, The Tenement court has drawn worldwide acclaim for its murals, featuring everyone from Michael Jordan and LeBron James to Manny Pacquiao and Santa Claus.
A line of candles surrounds the court. The black-and-white Bryant mural is surrounded by black walls with white-painted tributes:
"Gone but never forgotten."
"Legend never die."
"You ask for my hustle I give you my heart."
"We will continue to mourn the loss, but more important is that we make sure the legacy of Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant lives in our hearts forever," Mike Swift, who helps organize The Tenement's murals, wrote on Instagram. "Philippines, our infatuation with basketball is unmatched and we know how much Kobe enjoyed coming to this country. This is the least we can do at the Tenement to let the world know much you mean to us Kobe!"