Rain or Shine veteran Ryan Araña is known for wearing a pair of flashy pink shoes almost the entirety of his PBA career.
A 2016 Spin.ph article reported that Araña started sporting the color pink back in 2008, his sophomore year in the league, in honor of his aunt who is a breast cancer survivor.
At that time, social media played a huge role in Araña’s decision to continue wearing pink kicks after receiving good feedback from netizens.
So when veteran sportscaster Sev Sarmenta asked him during ONE Sports’ Sports Page what he’s going to wear in the first game of the PBA bubble, the 37-year-old Araña had something very special in mind.
“Meron actually. Pinagawa ko. Tribute ko ‘to sa daddy ko e,” said Arana, while showing a customized pink Nike shoes on the screen.
Written on the shoe’s vamp are the words “I Love You Papa” in white text with doves surrounding it.
The former La Salle standout arrived in the bubble in Clark, Pampanga with a heavy heart after announcing the passing of his father hours before he and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters left town.
“Going inside #PBABubble with a heavy heart but full of motivation and inspiration. Last time we talked, you were excited to see me play again,” the veteran guard wrote on Instagram last week.
“Now, you got the best seat in heaven cheering for me. This one is for you, Papa.”
What makes it heavier is that the death of Arana’s father came just 47 days after the passing of his father-in-law.
For Araña, the two men were the “unsung heroes” of his life.
“You are now angels who will continue to watch over us. Thank you for all your sacrifices for us. We are grateful to have fathers like you. We love you my Papas.”
When the postponed Philippine Cup resumes Saturday, Oct. 11, expect Araña to be back in action in those special pink shoes.