Bubble play: Noble duty to inspire,give hope
Bubble play: Noble duty to inspire,give hope
(The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Players and coaches embrace the sacrifice they have to make for a good two months to contribute to the successful staging of the PBA’s planned bubble in Clark.

NLEX guard Kevin Alas is deferring honeymoon while NorthPort playmaker Nico Elorde and Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso will have to be away from their new babies for the PBA restart eyed for Oct. 9.

All in the name of basketball and giving hope to a nation weary of the long lockdown.

“I think the guys understand that as professionals, for us to continue this conference and go through it, we’re going to really sacrifice,” Cariaso said in Tuesday’s Sports Page on One Sports.

Cariaso is playing daddy duties for newly-born daughter, Estella Gloria, with wife Erika Padilla.

Ditto Elorde for month-old firstborn Laura Italia with Mich del Carmen.

“Sobrang mixed emotions for me; makakabalik na ang basketball, at the same time mahirap din talagang lumayo ngayon kakapanganak lang ni Mich (I’m excited for basketball’s return but it’s agonizing to go away from my wife and daughter),” said Elorde.

Alas, meanwhile, got married to courtside reporter Selina Dagdag just before the PBA announced the bubble plans.

“As much as possible I want to spend time with her on our honeymoon stage, but being a professional, it’s also our responsibility to play and give entertainment to the fans,” said the NLEX guard.

Everyone will be out of his comfort zone for sure so San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria offered a mindset he first shared with his team.

“I told my team if it’s uncomfortable, be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation,” he said.

But there are those who have decided to hang their jerseys.

Magnolia veteran PJ Simon, the draft snub who worked his way to elite status, said it was time to leave the game and start a family with his pregnant wife.

The 40-year-old Simon joined two other grizzled campaigners who called it a day ahead of the PBA bubble – Alaska’s Sonny Thoss and TNT KaTropa’s Kelly Williams.

“I never thought it’s possible for a skinny and small kid from Makilala, North Cotabato to make it to the PBA,” said Simon in Filipino.

“Neither had I thought that after being snubbed in the 2001 PBA Rookie Draft, it’s still possible to leave my mark in this league,” he added.

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