Fashion statements in PBA bubble

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

Players are delivering a wide variety of fashion statements in the PBA Clark bubble and it’s providing an entertaining side attraction to the games. There are those who look like they haven’t had a haircut since the COVID-19 lockdown over seven months ago. Classify Terrafirma’s Glenn Khobuntin, Ginebra’s Joe De Vance and San Miguel Beer’s Chris Ross in this category. There are those who prefer to wear their shorts way above the knee like Michael Jordan used to in the 1980s. Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon and Jackson Corpuz are in this group.

Headbands are back in vogue and unlike in the NBA, ninja-style wraps aren’t banned in the PBA. Ross showed up with a “Black Lives Matter’ headband when he played against Rain or Shine last Tuesday. TNT’s Ray-Ray Parks and Simon Enciso, Rain or Shine’s Javee Mocon, San Miguel’s Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos, NLEX’ Tony Semerad and Phoenix’ Matthew Wright and Jason Perkins are exponents of wide-band headwear. Phoenix’ J. C. Intal and R. J. Jazul use the string-type bands to keep their hair in place away from bothering vision.

What’s trending among players is lining their hair with brightly colored streaks or doing a near 100 percent dye. Santos sports a yellow streak at the top of his head to match his yellow headband and yellow socks. His teammates Gelo Alolino and BamBam Gamalinda also wear colored hair. Phoenix’ R. R. Garcia dyed his hair blond and teammate Jansen Rios splashed a reddish coat to clearly stand out on the court. Blackwater rookie Maurice Shaw’s hair bun at the back of his head has an orange hue. Terrafirma’s Roosevelt Adams, TNT’s Poy Erram and Magnolia’s Mon Abundo also colored their hair. Curiously, Corpuz is staying away from dyes this conference. Last season, Corpuz used different wax colors in his hair for every half of a game. Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga has two pigtail buns on either side of his head in a unique hairstyle while Parks and Perkins display braids that look like coil springs.

When TNT active coaching consultant Mark Dickel wore shades in the Tropang Giga’s game against Alaska last Sunday, it seemed like he was out to make a fashion statement, too. Dickel resembled a bandit with dark glasses and a facemask, straddling up and down the sidelines. Someone walked up to Dickel before the game and inquired about the shades. Dickel supposedly said he had a case of an eye allergy and was advised to wear protective sunglasses. Could it be a case of “Vargitis?” he was asked. “What’s that?” wondered Dickel. “That’s (PBA chairman/TNT governor) Boss Ricky Vargas putting pressure on the coaching staff to bring the team back to the Finals after a 13-conference drought,” the man joked. Dickel said, “yeah, probably, probably.” Then they laughed heartily.

Yesterday morning, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jose Raul (George) Canlas motored to Clark to check on Alaska’s Kevin Racal and San Miguel’s Terrence Romeo. It wasn’t his first visit. Last Monday, he checked on Jalalon and cleared him to play. Jalalon had hyperextended his knee and an MRI was taken. “I see the players at a distance,” said Dr. Canlas. “I’m not allowed inside the hotel. We follow protocols that were set. I work with their PTs or assistant coaches. I saw Jio at the entrance of the hotel with his PT and I examined his MRI.”

Racal suffered an ACL injury in the Aces’ first game against TNT last Sunday while Romeo banged his shoulder in a collision with TNT’s Ryan Reyes last Friday. Romeo suffered a separated shoulder or acromioclavicular joint sprain and may be out for the season. No operation is required and therapy may take four to six weeks. He will be evaluated after four weeks to determine progress of healing and when to return to play. Racal will undergo rehab with Alaska head trainer Gus Vargas in the bubble and for the meantime, is not undergoing surgery.


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