Family time for PBA players as they celebrate New Year's eve | Inquirer Sports

Family time for PBA players as they celebrate New Year’s eve

/ 08:00 PM December 31, 2013

MANILA, Philippines — They are lucky to get a few days break from the grueling grind in the PBA, and there’s no better way for these players to welcome 2014 than in the company of their families.



For Marc Pingris, he will try to tuck away the frustrations of San Mig Coffee sour end to 2013 and celebrate the New Year with his family as merry as he could.


“This is time for family. The only time we get a break in the past few months so I’ll make most of it with them,” Pingris told in Filipino. “But I’ll still do extra work in the gym and run so I stay in shape.”

It will be a noisy New Year’s eve at the Pingris household for sure, but the Mixers’ defensive stalwart said that they won’t forget to find time to thank God amid the revelry.


“For sure we’ll say a prayer, thank God for the blessings we got this year and my wife [Danica] and I will take about our plans for 2014,” he also said.

The skidding Mixers got a three-day break, a luxury these days in the PBA, and so did the Elastopainters, who in contrast, ended the 2013 with a loud bang and a convincing victory.

JASON Castro of Talk ‘N Text drives past JC Intal of B-Meg. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Rookie Raymond Almazan looks forward to spending time with his extended family, which includes his aunts, uncles and cousins and the like, which has been their tradition come New Year’s eve.

“We always celebrate at our tita’s house every year. This year, we’ll roast pig [lechon] and feast together,” said Almazan, who got best player honors last Sunday.

No fireworks, though, for the towering Almazan and his family.

“I like noisy stuff but not fireworks. My cousin got injured from fireworks before so I’m scared of it. I’ll just use pots and pans to make noise,” he said.

Unlike Almazan, fellow rookie Alex Nuyles’ fondest memories of the New Year celebrations in the past involves loud and often dangerous fireworks and home-made cannons.

“Every New Year, we don’t sleep. We fire cannons and 5-stars. It’s our favorite and my cousins and I did it every year,” said

ALex Nuyles (light/EA Regens) vs Aljon Mariano. Nuki Sabio/PBA

, who smiles widely as he shares the thought.

Nuyles said that it may not be as noisy in his home this year, but just the chance to spend time with his family is important enough.

“As long as I spend it with my family, I’m okay with it. As long as we’re together, it will be happy,” the rookie, who hails from Bicol, said.

Barako Bull also got a thee-day respite after their big win over Globalport last Sunday, and athletic forward JC Intal will be embracing the coming year also with his family in his new home.

“Past few years, it’s always family time [every New Year]. We see to it that we’re spending time together, because we have a big family too. And no fireworks,” Intal said.

“But maybe this time, I’ll light a fountain lang.  I have a new home and it’s some sort of tradition for a house,” he said.

The action in the PBA resumes on Saturday with Talk N’ Text battling Alaska for the first game of the year followed by Meralco versus Air21 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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