Being away from their families counts among the many challenges Ron Dennison and his fellow PBA players will face during the course of their months-long stay inside the Clark bubble for the resumption of Season 45.
Luckily for the incoming sophomore from Cebu, that won’t be much of a burden, thanks to the presence of someone he has long considered to be his brother.
Dennison is now with Blackwater after Phoenix traded him for veteran guard Brian Heruela back in January. The move reunited him with good pal Paul Desiderio, whom he was teammates with back in their days at University of Visayas.
Even better, the two are roommates inside the bubble held at the former US military base in Pampanga. Desiderio actually personally picked Dennison to be his roommate.
“Siyempre pinili ko siya kasi magkakilala na kami nung high school pa lang, so wala na ilangan ‘pag roommate ko siya,” said Desiderio, who went to UP for college.
“Masaya kasi kaming dalawa, talagang close kami eh,” shared Dennison, who went on to go to FEU.
“Komportable na kami sa isa’t isa. Walang ilangan, hindi mahihiya.”
According to the defensive ace, though, he was initially set to share a room with fellow new Bossing Marion Magat. Desiderio himself then requested if they could switch so he could have Dennison as his roommate instead.
“Roommate ko dapat si Magat. Okay naman kahit sino,” said Dennison.
“Ni-request kasi ako ni Paul eh, gusto niya raw ako maging roommate.”
Blackwater has a relatively new squad this season following a series of moves since the previous one. But if there are two guys on the team who need no time to understand each other, it’s Dennison and Desiderio.
The two are a proven partnership, having helped UV win the CESAFI Juniors crown in 2010. They conspired again eight years later to help Go For Gold cop the 2018 D-League Foundation Cup title.
For Desiderio, he and Dennison will use this time to rekindle their partnership and bring it to Blackwater.
“Masaya parang balik high school kami.
“Nagwo-workout kami dito sa room, parang UV days lang namin,” said Desiderio.
And Dennison wants to bring their chemistry to the Bossing, although he also acknowledged his other teammates whom he has known for a while.
There are his fellow Tamaraws in Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia, with whom he won the UAAP Season 78 gold medal. Then there’s Ed Daquioag, with whom he won a D-League title with playing for Phoenix.
“Kanina nag-usap na kami doon. Sabi ko nga sa kanya, kailangan kaming dalawa, may madala kaming spark sa loob ng court. Makatulong ba. Malaking impact kasi sa’ming dalawa na may maiambag kami sa team kahit sa depensa, lalo na kung maka-ambag din kami sa opensa namin,” said Dennison, the 21st overall pick by Phoenix in the 2018 Rookie Draft.
“Pero hindi lang din naman kaming dalawa. Kasi ibang teammates ko rin naman sa FEU ganun din. Dami namin dito, kami nina Mac, si Mike. Tapos si Ed Daquioag naman nakasama din namin sa D-League ‘yan. Kaya hindi masyadong mahirap para sa amin.”
Staying together in one room for the next two months will certainly change the dynamics of their friendship.
As they say, you only get to know someone better if you live with them.
Awaiting clearance for scrimmages, Desiderio and Dennison are worrying about one thing first — who snores louder.
“Malalaman ko mamayang gabi ‘yan. Paghandaan ko na,” quipped Desiderio.