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PBA salutes office heroes

Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — It wasn’t only the players who were feted in the PBA’s Special Awards Night last Sunday as five of the league’s office staff were honored as the “Bida Ng Bubble.” PBA commissioner Willie Marcial kept the citation secret and advised Cignal TV vice president for channels and content Sienna Olaso of the recognition only last Thursday. The honorees were deputy commissioner Eric Castro, special projects head Rouselle Ighot, social media head Michelle Flores, operations assistant Niel Tibajares and messenger/driver Arloune Miguel.

“Sila mga bida,” said Marcial. “”Di ko sila sinabihan before the Awards Night kasi baka umayaw at mahiya. Sina Eric, Rouselle at Mich, since June nag-umpisa preparing for the bubble. Lahat inasikaso nila from scheduling to arrangement of hotels, transport at food. Sina Niel at Arloune nag-set-up at kumalas ng gamit sa court every day, naging mop at video men pa, first in, last out. Sabi nina Rouselle at Mich, buti na lang ‘di ako nag-introduce ng kanilang award, kasi baka nag-siiyakan sila. Silang dalawa lang ang nasa studio last Sunday kasi may work assignments sila pero ‘di nila alam they would be honored. Sina Niel at Arloune, wala sa studio kasi kung pinapunta namin, ‘di na secret yung award nila. Ang TV production staff was informed only last Friday to prepare the graphics for the award.”

Marcial said he conspired with Alaska governor and 3x3 chairman Dicky Bachmann to try to bring Castro to the studio. “Tinawagan ni governor Dicky si Eric last Thursday, may meeting daw ang 3x3 kaya dapat pumunta siya pero 75th birthday ng mother niya kaya nag beg-off,” said Marcial. Castro said he was surprised by the award. “I watched at home,” he said. “I didn’t know na may ganoong special award.  It was a total team effort, teamwork at its best. I also want to mention Junior Bengua, our operations officer, as our Sixth Man. Rouselle took care of the hotel and logistics and Mich helped us out in almost everything, setting up the protocols, doing research and sending out letters before entering the bubble until the end. We entered the bubble last Oct. 6 and left Dec. 10.”

Castro said the PBA advance party of Joey Guanio, Gerry Mesias and Botong Chavez entered the bubble last Sept. 27 to welcome the first five teams the next day and seven other teams the day after.

Marcial congratulated the entire PBA staff, both in and out of the bubble. “Malaking pasasalamat sa kanila from the PBA Board of Governors,” he said. “Nag-sacrifice silang lahat, working for the fans and our players, especially mga nasa bubble, being away from their families for over two months. Silang mga unsung heroes.” Each awardee will receive an engraved trophy symbolic of the league’s appreciation of the work in the bubble.

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