Residents gather to cheer on Spurs
Jennifer Lee Preyss
June 20, 2013 at 1:20 a.m.
Hours before the final, depressing score, the party atmosphere at the Golden Gecko was in full momentum.
Beer bottles clinked in the background as Leigh Ann Garcia shouted over the big screen showing the NBA Finals.
"What are those shots for?" she asked laughing, staring at friend, Jody Yoast, who was gently laying down a tray of dressed Patron shooters on a long table in the upstairs theater of Golden Gecko.
The Gecko was converted into Game 7 headquarters for the night, so San Antonio Spurs fans could watch their home team face off against the Miami Heat.
"They're for the first quarter," Yoast, 40, shouted.
Garcia, Yoast and a table of loyal Spurs fans - including Joseph Valdez, Ida Jimenez and Yoast's wife, Celina Yoast - were clad in their best Spurs apparel for Game 7 and came prepared to take advantage of the $10 Bud Light buckets priced special for game night.
"We've been getting together for every game in the series," said Celina Yoast, 34, mentioning the table will likely spend about $100 by the end of the game. "We want to support the Spurs!"
While the men at the table are equal in their fandom to the ladies, Celina Yoast, Jimenez and Garcia said they may be more passionate about the Spurs than some of their male counterparts.
"Some girls watch basketball because they like a certain player and not the sport, but this group of girls likes the sport," said Jimenez, 31.
Celina Yoast and Garcia said they've been watching the Spurs with their fathers since childhood and remained loyal to the team in adulthood.
"My dad took me to all the games growing up. My brother was never into it," Yoast said.
"Me, too. I was like the boy in our family. I always went with my father," Garcia echoed.
Pausing to cheer on the team and take a swig of beer, Garcia said she will be so disappointed if the Spurs don't win the game.
"All I will say is that if they don't win, there will be a lot of angry Mexicans in San Antonio tonight," she giggled.
The series has been an even run for the Spurs and the Heat, who have alternated wins for the past six games.
A Spurs victory would make history because no visiting team has won Game 7 of the NBA Finals since 1978.
But the table of fans agreed - the Spurs have to win. There is no other suitable outcome.
"I can only say that if they win, I'm going to pass out. And if they don't win, I'm going to pass out," Valdez said.