How these PBA players show appreciation for their wives

Love & Basketball: How these PBA players show appreciation for their wives

/ 03:58 PM February 14, 2024

PBA players wives valentines day

These PBA players share how they’re able to keep the fire burning amid the rigors of being a pro athlete. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—This Wednesday may be Game 6 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, but it’s also a day where love is celebrated to the fullest.

It is, of course, Valentine’s Day; a day to celebrate love in all facets of the word.


While that concept is hard to maintain in the modern era, you’d be surprised to know just how much basketball plays a role in preserving that idea for these swingmen of the PBA.


Athletes and professional basketball players are some of the busiest people year round, spending time training or resting and maintaining their bodies.

But all those hardships and sacrifices are worth it for these PBA players, as long as they have their partners alongside them for the ride.

And it doesn’t matter if they’d spend that special day at Araneta Coliseum for Game 6, either.

Paul Lee & Rubie

Magnolia guard Paul Lee and wife Rubie PBA

Magnolia guard Paul Lee and wife Rubie. –PAUL LEE INSTAGRAM

The “Lethal Weapon” of the PBA is a tough nut to crack inside the court but outside of it and beside his wife Rubie, he’s just as intense.

Lee would always make time for his partner whenever he’s not on the hardwood dealing damage to whichever team he’s up against.

“We like to travel out of town or the country. Before we had a baby we loved watching movies, now we have one and we still watch once in a while but if there’s an opportunity to bring them out of town or out of Manila, I do it because I think that’s the best thing I can give them,” said the Magnolia guard.


“I love investing in memories compared to material things because I think that’s what’s important in a family.”

READ: PBA: Tyler Bey ‘already knew’ clutch Paul Lee triple was good

Is it hard to manage a relationship when you almost breathe and live basketball? Well, not really. At least not for Lee, who has learned through time how to balance work and life.

In fact, he doesn’t even mind playing on Wednesday, which also falls on his birthday and not just Valentine’s Day.

“That’s my birthday. That’s the reality of our work. We even play during Christmas. But we keep going. We can celebrate after.”

“It’s all about balance and time management. Of course, practices are in the morning and I have the whole afternoon or evening to do what we want to do.”

With the season of love coming closer to the Lee family, Paul has this to say to Rubie.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for our family, we appreciate you always and we love you so much.”

Aris Dionisio & Chrisnalyn 

Aris Dionisio with his wife Chrisnalyn and their kids PBA

Aris Dionisio with his wife Chrisnalyn and their kids. –ARIS DIONISIO INSTAGRAM

Aris Dionisio’s rise for Magnolia has been nothing short of impressive and while his hard work and perseverance are a huge part of that, he has the support of his wife Chrisnalyn to thank for, as well.

After averaging only 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in the elimination round of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Dionisio switched to second gear in the Hotshots’ Finals series against the Beermen.

What motivated him to turn his game around in the most important clash of the conference? His wife’s support and help, game in and game out.

“My wife is so supportive in terms of my work. Even if she’s in Bulacan and I’m in my condo here in Quezon, she really travels with my baby so they can watch me [play]. Last game, my calf got hurt and she was the one who massaged it so I can play this game properly,” said the stretch forward in Filipino.

READ: Wins fail to sway Victolero opinion: We’re still underdogs

“Even after my practice, when we’re all together in the condo, even if I’m kind of tired, I still try my best to treat them outside for family time. As long as they’re here, we almost go out every day because we’re just beside SM North.”

Dionisio knows that he might not get to fully celebrate the day of hearts with Chrisnalyn with Game 6 on the way but the St. Clare product has something in mind anyway.

“Maybe I’ll just buy a memorable gift and after the game, we’ll have dinner. Maybe that’s how our Valentine’s would go.”

Dionisio kept it simple when he was asked what he wanted to tell his wife and it was a message revolving around him being grateful for all the support, love and help throughout the years.

“By, happy happy Valentine’s. I hope we get this championship because this is also for our future. Thank you so much for your support in sports. Even if you have a handful with our kids, you’re still there to help me with whatever I need. I love you.”

Marcio Lassiter & Jerlyn 

Marcio Lassiter with his Jerlyn 

Marcio Lassiter with his Jerlyn and their children. –MARCIO LASSITER INSTAGRAM

Marcio Lassiter knows how hard it is to be a veteran on the court. Apparently, he knows how to be a veteran as a husband as well.

Marcio has been married to his wife Jerlyn for some years now and that partnership also extends to being parents to five kids.

“I’m so blessed to have a supportive wife and she helps take care of the kids. I have five kids so you can imagine just how much happens in the household plus school. I have three kids now playing basketball, so the weekends are pretty hectic.  A lot is going on in my household but we’re not perfect, we just try to find ways to make stuff happen,” said Lassiter after warming up before Game 5 of the Finals.

READ: Titles, not individual awards, matter more to Marcio Lassiter

“We have basketball to make it all merge together.”

“We love hanging out and watching movies. They like to watch certain Disney movies, you get the eldest at 14 and then the youngest so there’s a variety of things they like watching and it’s kind of funny to see them choose,” said the league’s renowned shooter.

Lassiter is a man of few words and even if his message to Jerlyn for Valentine’s is short, it’s highly descriptive of how their relationship has been over the years.

“I love you and we’ll just keep this thing going. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

CJ Perez & Sienna

CJ Perez sienna wife PBA

CJ Perez with his wife Sienna and their children. –CJ PEREZ INSTAGRAM

When you want to talk about teenage sweethearts making it to the finish line, you have to think about CJ Perez and Sienna.

Perez, who has been supported by his now-wife for a number of years now, said he makes it a point to repay the help and support that Sienna gives him on a daily basis, alongside his daughters.

“Most of my time goes to basketball but as long as there’s time, I give it all to my family,” explained Perez in Filipino.

“I’m just at home, usually. Before the game, I’m just staying at home so I always eat lunch with the girls, too.”

READ: CJ Perez wins first PBA Best Player award by being steadiest Beerman

Sienna’s support for Perez has been well-documented in the past and now it’s still stronger than ever, especially with the Beermen taking home the Best Player of the Conference award for the Commissoner’sCup.

Sienna was also there for Perez when he was representing the country and donned the Gilas Pilipinas jersey for the 2023 Fiba World Cup.

So for Valentine’s day, the San Miguel standout made sure to acknowledge his partner and life and all the people he loves for the day of love.

“Of course, to my wife and the kids, happy Valentine’s. I love them so much. Also to my mom, mother-in-law and everyone I love, happy Valentine’s, as well.”

Ian Sangalang & Eunice

Ian Sangalang and his wif Eunice PBA

Ian Sangalang and his wife Eunice. –IAN SANGALANG INSTAGRAM

Love is an important component for a relationship to work but understanding is also as important. Hotshot swingman Ian Sangalang and parter Eunice know that to be true.

Holding the life of a Magnolia player, training almost every day of the week—plus the PBA Finals in tow—Sangalang said his partner has been very supportive on his road to greatness and he plans to give her more time for it.

“Whatever job we have, whatever it is, when we’re at home or what, let’s give time to our family, wife and kids. They appreciate it no matter how small or big it is because they know what I do as a player,” told the veteran big man.

“She understands all of this. Maybe after these Finals, we’ll be able to celebrate [Valentine’s]. That’s good for us.”

Not only was Eunice supportive of Ian; ‘s career but she was also there at a time when the Magnolia big needed it most.

READ: PBA: After tough life stretch, Ian Sangalang eager for comeback

Last year, Sangalang was sidelined for a prolonged period of time with hyperthyroidism and from his injury to his recovery, his partner was there for it all.

So for Valentine’s his message for Eunice is nothing but grateful for who’s there to love not just him but their entire family.

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“Thank you for always supporting me. I appreciate her always, when she’s fetching the kids to school, she still finds time to watch and cheer me on. It’s big for me to see my family on the court, it’s heartwarming. Everything I do is all for them.”

TAGS: Aris Dionisio, CJ Perez, Ian Sangalang, Magnolia Hotshots, Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, PBA Commissioner's Cup, San Miguel Beermen

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