Among the many challenges of being inside the PBA bubble in Clark is being away from the best support system one could have: family.
That comes in handy, especially for players coming off tough losses. And Jio Jalalon felt how badly he needed his wife and their baby girl when his Magnolia absorbed an 81-87 defeat in the hands of Alaska, Saturday night.
“Merong kakaiba talaga sa bubble at doon sa actual talaga na game [katulad] sa Araneta. Kasi sa Araneta, makakasama mo kaagad ‘yung family mo, so parang ‘yung lungkot nababawi sa family eh,” he told 2OT presented by Smart, Sunday.
“Dito sa bubble naman kailangan mo talagang hindi i-dwell ‘yung pagkatalo. Kailangan mo talagang mag-move forward dito kasi kung ide-dwell mo ‘yung pagkatalo, wala. Madadala mo talaga sa next game niyo.”
Still, the 28-year-old understands that it’s all part of the sacrifice they have to make. The good thing, though, is that he feels the love and warmth from his family through the care packages that arrive in the bubble every week.
Those packages — which those living in the bubble fondly call “ayuda” whenever they post about it on social media — are sent by their families. They contain items, mainly food, which the players request.
“For me, sobrang nagpapasalamat kami sa family namin sa binibigay nila kasi parang ‘yun ‘yung suporta talaga nila sa amin,” Jalalon said. “Kasi ‘yun nga, hindi namin sila nakikita, nakakasama.
“Kaya sobrang masaya na kami noon kasi binibigyan nila kami ng food kung anong nire-request namin. ‘Yun talaga ‘yung suporta nila sa amin, ang laking bagay.”
The Cagayan De Oro-native is also thankful to those who have been providing their needs inside the bubble — the team’s therapists, utility, and others, whom they all consider as family as well.
“Sobrang thankful kami kasi inaalagaan nila kami kahit alam namin na nahihirapan na sila. Alam namin na ang dami nilang ginagawa sa team, and thankful kami kasi ‘pag may nangyari sa amin, nandoon sila palagi.
“Kung anong kailangan namin gawin, lalo na’ yung mga PT at ‘yung mga ballboy namin, sila Manong… Kailangan talaga sila eh. Kasi ‘yun nga, itong game na dikit-dikit, kailangan talaga i-ready ‘yung katawan namin lagi at kung wala sila, yari na ‘yung katawan namin. Wala kami magagawa sa katawan namin kung wala sila,” added the four-year pro out of Arellano.