Kings bond together for first time for cause

For the first time in more than two months, top PBA Philippine Cup contender Barangay Ginebra got together, this time for a worthy cause.

The Gin Kings, headed by coach Tim Cone, team governor and SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua visited the SMC compound along Ortigas Avenue on Wednesday to help in the repackaging thousands of face masks to be donated by the firm to 16 hospitals and various health centers nationwide.

Information gathered by The Manila Times from the PBA media group headed by Dave Coros, former league MVP Mark Caguioa, LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguila, rookies Arvin Tolentino, Jerrick Balanza, and Kent Salado, were also around to lend their hands in the project aimed at helping the government’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Present, too, were coach Cone’s deputies Richard Del Rosario and Olsen Racela, and team manager Rayboy Rodriguez.

It was the first time the Kings gathered together since the PBA Board of Governors decided to postpone the league’s 45th season indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak.

SMC President and COO Ramon S. Ang or RSA to the Kings, and sister teams the Beeermen and Magnolia Hotshots, has already been pouring billions of pesos to several projects in support of needy Filipinos get through this health crisis.

“Boss RSA, nagpapasalamat kami sa lahat ng itinutulong nyo po sa buong Pilipinas. We love you and thank you,” Caguioa said as quoted by Coros.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, meanwhile, reiterated also on Wednesday the country’s play-for-pay league will wait and follow the guidelines and protocol as to when to resume play.

Marcial said he can very well understand the concern expressed by Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire as he himself and the league would not risk the safety of PBA players, officials, fans and everybody involved in the pro league once play resumes.

“Malungkot. Pero yan ang dapat mangyari, mahirap ibalik agad-agad ang sports because, for one, there’s the social distancing issue to be followed,” Marcial reasoned out.

“You can, perhaps, say our players are physically strong to be spared by the spread of the virus. But, paano pag-uwi nila sa bahay at dala dala nila ang virus, baka ang pamilya nila ang tamaan. And that’s a big, big concern,” the commissioner added.

According to the Inter-Agency Task Force on the pandemic, it will take sometime before mass gathering is allowed even when the enhanced community quarantine is lowered down to general community quarantine.

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