PBA rookies make time for Christmas despite busy schedule | Inquirer Sports

PBA rookies make time for Christmas despite busy schedule

/ 10:13 PM December 24, 2017

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

It’s the season of giving.

But for some PBA rookies, they couldn’t avoid having their fair share of weird and wacky gifts they’ve received during the Yuletide season.


Fourth overall pick Jeron Teng was left speechless when he was gifted a pillow years back.

“Maybe they’re telling me that I need to sleep more,” said the Alaska rookie in Filipino chuckling. “Maybe they want me to have a good night’s sleep.”


Unexpected gifts are not limited to material things.

For Magnolia’s Fil-American rookie Robbie Herndon, his Christmas came early when his father Robert Sr. unexpectedly showed up and watched his first professional game last Wednesday.

“He surprised me. He flew from the United States just to watch me and I’m glad that I was able to play,” said the sixth overall pick as he made his professional debut for the Hotshots despite dealing with a back injury.

The same was the case for the speedy Rain or Shine guard Rey Nambatac, who got his Christmas wish as early as October when he was tabbed by the Elasto Painters at seven.

“I wasn’t expecting to be picked as early as seven. It was a weird feeling because I really felt I’ll be picked in the latter rounds, but there I was in the middle of the first round,” he said.

Some rookies struggled remembering the weird presents they previously got that they just treasure the times whenever they were able to celebrate the holidays with their families, especially now that they are in the PBA.

Number three pick Raymar Jose, whose family is in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, couldn’t help but feel sad as he spends his Christmas all by his lonesome once again, this time due to his obligations with Blackwater.


“I’ll spend my Christmas in my condo. We have practice so I’ll only be able to come home in the New Year,” he said.

Same goes for eighth overall pick Sidney Onwubere, who plans to stay in the gym come the 25th as he hopes to make a splash with TNT.

“Back to the gym for me. Even if it’s Christmas, I’ll be working because I need to keep working,” said the Fil-Nigerian forward.

Some, meanwhile, have it harder as they have a Christmas Day game slated on the schedule.

Kiefer Ravena, who was picked second in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft, already has a grand plan for himself as he seeks to spend some time with his loved ones before making the voyage to the cavernous Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan for NLEX’s tussle against GlobalPort.

“We have a game, so I’ll spend the morning with my family. It’s a time for us to enjoy and cherish our loved ones because we all know how unique Christmas is in the Philippines,” he said.

Hectic as his day may be, Ravena shared that he still makes it a point to give back to the less fortunate and share his blessings especially during this time of the year.

“It’s easy to be good, so it’s better for us to help others and share our blessings to those who have less. I try to do gift-givings to the less fortunate and I think it’s my own way of trying to help each and everybody,” he said. “Again, it’s better to give than to receive so you have to share your blessings.”

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TAGS: 2018 PBA Philippine Cup, Jeron Teng, Kiefer Ravena, Raymar Jose, Rey Nambatac, Robbie Herndon, Sidney Onwubere
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