‘The Beast’ one proud Lola’s boy

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) – October 28, 2020 – 12:00am

Inside the bubble

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY, Philippines — Calvin Abueva’s much-awaited return to action turned out to be a big hit among PBA fans last Monday.

Aside from the virtual fans shown on the expensive LED screens at the SMART 5G-powered Angeles University Foundation Arena, over 120,000 fans tuned in online to witness Abueva’s roaring return after a 508-day suspension.

And one of them was Abueva’s “Lola Siony,” who watched her grandson back in action via Facebook while confined in a nearby hospital, recovering from a heart ailment.

“She’s my number one fan,” said an emotional Abueva, wearing a scapular around his neck, after a near triple-double outing of 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in a big win against NLEX.

“Since naglaro ako, siya na ang sumusuporta sa akin, kahit saan ako magpunta, saan ako mapadpad, siya ang laging nakasunod sa akin. Kaya this game, inaalay ko sa kanya.”

As dreaded as his monicker “The Beast,” the native of Pampanga is proud to be Lola’s boy – a loving one at that.

* * *

Way before the emergence of false positive cases inside the bubble, Rain or Shine has, on its own, taken the COVID-19 precautions to its own level here.

The Elasto Painters have found a more organized way of handling face masks for each player, coach and staff.

Each player is provided with zip-lock plastic bags with jersey numbers on them to store and dispose their face masks before and after a game.

“We want to be safe with these protocols. We seal them para hindi magkahalo-halo,” said coach Caloy Garcia, praising staff members JD Calinawan and Jason Lejada for the idea.

It’s one thing to follow the protocols, and another to come up with your own.

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