Basketball builder honoured by Manitoba HOF


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This article was published 16/03/2022 (446 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manny Aranez is not your typical sports superstar. However, he has been a mighty force in Manitoba basketball for decade. And on Oct. 1, 2022, Manny will be inducted into the coveted Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame as a builder of the sport.

During the past 35 years, Manny’s successes through his unceasing dedication to building organized community-based basketball is stunning. He launched the Philippine Basketball Association of Winnipeg with only seven teams league in 2001 – now he and his dedicated core of volunteers now register over 100 teams in 15 divisions, made of boys and girls of all nationalities.

“I like to acknowledge that the inclusion of teams and individuals from all nationalities into the PBA made a huge difference in the phenomenal growth to our league,” Aranez said.

Officials and coaches of the Philippine Basketball Association of Winnipeg were pictured recently at the Maples Collegiate gym – (from left) Abad Dela Cruz, Randy Viray, Manny Aranez, Fredie Marasigan and John Aaron.

Manny Aranez was born and raised in the Philippines in the small town of Balete. He started to play basketball when he was 12 years old but said he had only very limited playing time, because the ‘big boys’ were kings of the courts.

He was a good player. At the age of 14 he won a spot on the high school team that represented his region. He also played for two years for his college team in the Philippines.

At 21, he immigrated to Canada. Soon after arriving, Aranez, who is always inclined to assist and organize, gathered few friends on weekends and booked the basketball court at the McGregor Street YMCA. He quickly saw that there was ample potential to grow basketball in Winnipeg.

The PBA’s first games were played at the Freight House on Isabel Street and the league grew rapidly for the next 15 years. Acquiring larger venues was always a challenge until 2011, when Aranez began renting four high school gymnasiums from the Seven Oaks School Division. By 2014, the PBA was hosting up to 114 basketball teams.

In 2005, Winnipeg’s PBA joined the established Filipino Basketball Association of North America (FBANA), a federation of several North American Filipino basketball cities and leagues, including Toronto, Winnipeg, Chicago, and Detroit.

Winnipeg is always represented by eight or more PBA league winners at the annual FBANA tournament in select North America cities.

The FBANA appointed Aranez chairman of its disciplinary committee for in 2007, and he was named commissioner for four years beginning in 2015.

While Aranez is being inducted to the hall of fame primarily for his role in creating the PBA of Winnipeg, he deflects any praise.

“I am humbled and very fortunate to have the invaluable assistance of dozens of outstanding volunteers all throughout the years,” he said.

Derek Dabee

Derek Dabee
The Maples community correspondent

Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples.

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