Basketball marathon man’s joy | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

Basketball marathon man’s joy

/ 01:32 AM April 05, 2014

Discovery Access COO Jacque Ruby  got a ribbing from friends and associates last Saturday at the closing rites  of the Philippine  Basketball Marathon.

Ruby’s friends     said he could have  also established  a   new record for the longest and tightest  hug if that one he gave Guinness Book of World Records adjudicator Turath Alfaraf, a British woman, was timed.


It happened right after the Guinness representative announced that the Philippines now holds the record for the longest non-stop  basketball game played, eclipsing  the  112 hours and 13 seconds set by the Americans from Missouri in March  2012.

Overwhelmed by the euphoria, the  basketball marathon organizer said he  just needed a shoulder to shed tears of joy on. And since his wife Pia was not there to share the joyful moment (she attended their daughter’s graduation), his impulse was to embrace the person nearest him.


“It could have lasted longer than  the usual, but that’s how happy I was,”  Ruby said.

* * *

Before he got the official nod from Alfaraf, who had flown all the way from  London on Friday, April 4, Ruby had many fears—even though the 24 tired basketball marathoners had already  logged more than 120 hours of nonstop playing and were still standing.

“What if, after viewing the tapes she  finds that we had violated something  we’re not conscious of? What if the  two  game clocks used were not synchronized? What if we were disqualified because of a bottled water thrown into the court by one of the players, or because one of the marathoners had brought his mattress to the men’s room where he thought he would be allowed to sleep.”

Ruby had many what-ifs, and the adjudicator, of Iraqi origin, looked really  stern. On her arrival, she immediately warned Ruby that she would not accept gifts of any kind from her host.

“I had no expectations. Everything  was just so unpredictable,” Ruby said.

That’s why when the words he so  wanted to hear came out of Alfaraf’s lips, he almost jumped with joy. The two ended up being very good friends.


* * *

The three Americans from Missouri—Jeffrey Moore, Tony Tatar and Chuck Williams, a former US NCAA cager—also perpetuated themselves in the Guinness Book. They were both part of the group that established the record in 2012 and the group that played in the PH marathon. Ruby said the trio just wanted to help raise funds  for victims of Supertyphoon  “Yolanda.” They paid for their own return flight from Missouri.

The basketball marathoners from St. Louis are middle-aged but all were in shape. A total of 100 candidates were screened medically before the final 24 were chosen.

According to Ruby, the first thing  the  American trio did when the  marathon  was officially over was to go out of the gym and bask in the sun, enjoying that great feeling of accomplishment.

HOOPVINE: In  addition to the three companies that have submitted their financial  profiles and letters  of  intent  to  the PBA,  two more are knocking on the league’s doors, according to media bureau chief Willie Marcial. He said he would reveal the two companies  “at the right time.”… Our  condolences to the  family  of former PBA cager  Bryan  Gahol,  who  died  in  a  vehicular accident on the Skyway on Monday night. A former UP  Maroon, Gahol played  for Red  Bull  from 2000-2003.

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