Only a few have had the privilege of having a semblance of home inside the PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga.
NLEX guards Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas have dad Bong of TNT and wife Selina of One Sports respectively with them in Quest Hotel.
Then there are brothers Nash Racela of Blackwater and Olsen of Ginebra.
And Nash feels grateful to have a family member with him for the next two months.
“Little joys — we just have to look for that.
“Even when you’re outside the bubble, it’s how you should approach life — looking for little joys in life, especially with the kind of situation, with the pandemic that we have now. Lagi ko sinasabi hindi tayo pwede magmukmok sa isang corner, we have to find those joys. Marami ‘yan around us eh,” said the 48-year-old mentor.
From time to time, the Racela boys see each other. Blackwater stays on the second floor, while Ginebra is on the fifth floor of Quest.
As brothers do, they share whatever they have with them.
“There’s this one time I visited him sa room niya because he was asking if I have some chocolates. Hindi ko alam kung hindi siya nakapagadala, but he got his first ayuda last Friday. So ngayon it’s his turn to give me some,” quipped the first-year Elite head coach.
It’s also good that they have a cousin in TNT assistant coach Yuri Escueta with them as on November 1, Olsen will be celebrating his big 5-0.
Olsen’s 50th birthday will be memorable, though he won’t have loving mom Mary Rose and his family with him.
“It’s hard when you’re away from family, and when we talked about the bubble, ang isang concern ni Coach Olsen was spending his birthday away from his family.
“And then naisip niya, ‘Ah! Nanndiyan ka pala Nash sa bubble, so at least I have one family member who will spend my birthday with me.’ And then naisip niya si Coach Yuri Escueta. So ‘yan, at least tatlo na. We call ourselves E-boys kasi Escueta ‘yung side ng family namin sa mom ko. So sabi niya may tatlong E-boys na diyan sa bubble to celebrate his birthday,” shared Nash.
Nash, on the other hand, will celebrate his 49th birthday on November 30. And for him to spend his birthday with Olsen, both Blackwater and Ginebra will have to go deep in the playoffs.
That’s enough motivation for the two brothers to push further and gut it out inside the bubble.