SMART CLARK GIGA CITY—The challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic is already a test of character for the individuals inside the PBA bubble.
But being away from the family with a raging super typhoon threatening to split Luzon in half is agonizing for the delegation who are holed safe and tight at the Quest Hotel in Pampanga.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial admitted that it is very difficult to be far from loved ones during these trying times when the risk of getting ill from the virus is worsened by a natural calamity.
“Mahirap talaga ‘yun. Parang OFW. Pero kailangan natin ‘tong gawin dahil trabaho natin ‘to. Katulad nga ng sinabi ko, hindi lang para sa’tin ‘to, hindi lang para sa pamilya natin kundi para sa mga fans natin ‘to,” Marcial told the Bulletin-Tempo.
The league chief insisted that pressing on with the bubble is already sacrifice that the 12 teams and the rest of the delegation have to make for a bigger cause.
Marcial is hoping the Philippine Cup will not hit a snag again as they look to offer something positive for the people affected by Super Typhoon Rolly.
After complying with the new protocols from IATF, the bubble conference will resume on Tuesday, two days after Rolly, the strongest typhoon in the world so far this year, made its first landfall in Bato, Catanduanes.
Like Marcial, players and coaches have checked on their families back home as Rolly continued to batter Luzon on Sunday, causing harsh winds and torrential rains through its path.
“Actually, more concerned ako sa family ko sa Manila and sa family ng girlfriend (Pau Fajardo) ko sa CamSur (Camarines Sur),” said Barangay Ginebra guard Scottie Thompson.
“Praying for the family of my girlfriend and sa lahat ng taga-CamSur na sana safe sila,” he added.
Camarines Sur and the rest of the Bicol Region were one of the hardest hits, with Signal No. 5 being raised in the area early Sunday, while Metro Manila was put under Signal No. 4.
“Tinatawagan ko nga (‘yung family ko). Kaninang umaga ko pa sila kausap and syempre nagbilin na rin ako at ‘yung mga bata kailangan din natin kamustahin pati ‘yung lugar,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero, who resides in Bulacan, which was under Signal No. 4 at one point.
“Every now and then tinatawagan ko naman sila para makamusta ang kalagayan nila doon,” Victolero added.
Alaska mentor Jeff Cariaso did the same for his wife Erika Padilla and their two children.
“I made sure that they have food, groceries, water and that they just stay at home,” he said.
“I pray that everyone will be safe and no one will be in harm.”
Fortunately, the PBA bubble was not heavily affected, with only the swimming pool and running area in Quest Hotel closed due to mild rainfall.
Practices resumed at the Angeles University Foundation as teams prepare for the revised elimination round schedule that features five quadruple-headers, two triple-headers and two double-headers from November 3 to 11.