THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Bubble at last kicked off over the weekend at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Sports Arena and Cultural Center with all 12 teams raring to go all out to win the title in the league that is expected to finish in 10 weeks.
While Dabawenyos may be sad that former University of Mindanao (UM) Wildcats standout Peter June "Nonoy" Simon is no longer seeing action for the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok having announced his retirement recently, we can still look forward to watching two other regions' pride -- Davao City-born ex-Holy Child College of Davao Reds junior player Baser Amer of the Meralco Bolts and Digos City's Scottie Thompson of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel who still have many playing years left in the league.
Amer, on his October 11 Facebook, said, "The #PBABubble is an opportunity for us as players to give relief and entertainment to people in our own little way, especially to the ones who are in the front lines battling the virus. Lahat tayo may pinagdadaanan - kung nababasa mo 'to, laban lang (If you are reading this, just fight on)."
Being in a bubble, having to stick it out with his teammates and other players of the other ball clubs in over two months at the Quest Hotel at Mimosa Plus leisure estate inside the Clark Freeport, is challenging enough as he also had to be away from his family and friends, but Amer still sees the great opportunity to provide live basketball entertainment to the fans, particularly the frontliners.
I think Amer's post is also a reminder to all of us that it's not over yet, we can all face life's challenges together as we fight our own separate battles every day. We need to fight on, we should never give up!
The coronavirus disease (Covid-19) may still be around us for another one or two years, but we should never lose hope. Although it may seem like we are also in a bubble as we live our lives, with a few restrictions amid the pandemic, we still need to make the most out of it and see the positive side of things no matter how uncertain the future has become.
Just like Simon who was spotted playing tennis in one of Davao City's subdivision courts recently. His PBA days are over but it's never too late to start a new sport, even if it's just only for fun and to keep himself fit.
He even encouraged me to also play tennis, hahahaha. I told him I love covering tennis but I don't play the sport though. My son, Sean, his godson, learned tennis basics when he was six years old from Dabawenya netter Jenni Celine Dizon before she joined the De La Salle University (DLSU) women's varsity tennis team. When Jenni left to study in Manila, Sean also stopped playing tennis. He did not want any other coach to teach him but his Ate Jenni.
And since he has been watching his Ninong PJ play basketball in the PBA, Sean also could not be stopped when he decided to focus on the same sport after his brief stints in tennis, chess, and football.
Here's to cheering Baser for playing in another PBA conference and to Nonoy for being home again, and playing a new sport!