Playing at home court energizes Kapampangan PBA stars

PBA IN CLARK. NLEX Road warriors head Coach Yeng Guiao and players during their arrival at the Quest Hotel in Mimosa, Clark, Pampanga. (Photo courtesy of Marna Dagumboy-del Rosario)

BASKETBALL pros Ian Sangalang of Magnolia Hotshots and Arwind Santos of San Miguel Beermen expressed joy in playing at their home province in the restart of the 2020 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup.

“Siyempre ‘yung paglalaro sa hometown sobrang sarap sa feeling. Pagdating ko dito, ‘yung parang lahat ng nakikita ko pwede kong kausapin through Kapampangan,” Sangalang, who hails from Lubao, said in a press conference Thursday, October 15.

“Pangatlong laro ko pa lang sa AUF (Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center) ‘yung kagabi. Kasi the last time na meron kaming out of town, ang pinagkaiba ngayon siyempre walang fans [sa court], kayo-kayo lang. Wala gaanong advantage pero masarap sa pakiramdam na narito ako sa Pampanga. Saka iba ang hangin dito (laughs).”

Santos, born in Angeles City, said that it’s an added motivation to play in his home province. Santos has been playing for the country’s basketball league since 2006.

“Dito ako sumibol. Dito rin ‘yung Tatay-Tatayan ko na si Governor [Dennis] Pineda na alam kong proud na proud siya dahil aside from that, nariyan din ‘yung suporta niya para mag-offer ng ganitong kalaking facility para sa ating lahat. Siyempre sa mga Cabalen ko, dito kasi ako nag-pedicab noong mga time na ‘yon. So nakakatuwa lahat ng mga pedicab driver nanonood sila sa TV. Masaya ako na dito ako sumikat, dito ako nakilala,” he said in an earlier media conference organized by PBA.

“Minamahal kita nang sobra-sobra, umaabot hanggang dulo,” Santos said in Kapampangan as a message to his fans.

The PBA bubble is the first sports event held in the Philippines after months of lockdown due to the risk brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health measures such as regular testing for the teams and observation of minimum health standards are strictly implemented throughout the PBA bubble.

Magnolia Head Coach Chito Victolero, meanwhile, praised the hotel staff and the quality of facilities inside the bubble.

“Malaking tulong ‘yung facilities nila. Maganda ‘yung naiikutan namin, sa labas nakakapag-jogging kami. Nakaka-walking. And then talagang gusto namin ‘yung staff—very friendly, ‘yung kanilang service sobrang ganda. Also, malaking bagay ngayon ‘yung technology, ‘yung internet. Kaya kahit paano nakakatawag kami, nakikita namin ang pamilya namin. And malakas kasi WiFi dito so malaking bagay ‘yon para sa amin.”

The PBA delegation is currently staying at Quest Hotel inside the 201-hectare Filinvest Mimosa Plus Leisure City. Mimosa has world-class amenities such as a 130-hectare golf course, a resort-like swimming pool, a fitness gym—considered the biggest in Clark—and lots of green spaces good for rest and recreation for players and coaches. (PR)


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