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Jessica Sanchez belts out American anthem at NBA Finals

June 13, 2012 12:30pm

"American Idol" Season 11 first runner-up Jessica Sanchez sang the American national anthem "Star-Spangled Banner" before game one of the National Basketball Association (NBA) finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma Thunder.

A video posted on the entertainment blog Rickey.org showed the 16-year-old Filipino-Mexican-American wearing a little black dress with embellishments as she sang the national anthem. 

As she sang, the Miami Heat and Oklahoma Thunder players and their coaches were on the court, giants with the petite Sanchez.

Toward the end of the song, the crowd started cheering wildly and applauding Sanchez.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Thunder leads the NBA Finals series 1-0 after beating the Heat when Kevin Durant exploded for 36 points supported by Russell Westbrook with 27 points compared to Lebron James’ 30 points, the official NBA site said. 

This is the third time that Sanchez sang the American national anthem for a big event after the finals of the singing reality show "American Idol" in late May.
 
The first one was during the celebration of Memorial Day in the US where she performed in her first public appearance on TV after AI at the West Lawn in Washington, D.C. on May 27, according to a report from Date Line News.
 
The second time was during the boxing match of Sarangani Rep. and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and American fighter Timothy Bradley Jr. on June 9 (June 10 in the Philippines).

Bradley won the World Boxing Organization welterweight title in a controversial split decision.
 
Meanwhile, Sanchez's grandfather in the Philippines — Eddie Bugay — earlier said Sanchez was eager to visit the Philippines after finishing her commitments with "American Idol."

Sanchez, who has a Filipino mother and a Mexican father, has not yet set foot on the Philippines.  - Andrei Medina, VVP, GMA News