Busy though their schedules may be, PBA players – and even national team coach Tab Baldwin – will still find time to bond with family, relax, and wrap up presents for loved ones during the Christmas season.
Veteran Talk ‘N Text forward Ranidel de Ocampo shared how he and his wife would prepare gifts to their godchildren and try to spend time with his family in Cavite.
“I celebrate Christmas with my family then before the day itself I go to Cavite and celebrate the holidays with my relatives,” said De Ocampo, who is still recovering from a back injury.
“We also prepare and give gifts to my godchildren and in case they don’t see me I won’t be accused of hiding away from them,” he added joking.
When time permits, De Ocampo likes to bring his family on trips out of town to take advantage of the students’ Christmas break.
“After Christmas, if we still have time, since the kids don’t have classes, we go to other places but just here in Luzon.”
Another Texter Danny Seigle said Christmas is all about the Filipino tradition of being one as a family.
“We spend time with family and friends, the traditional Noche Buena,” the veteran said.
For Globalport youngster Terrence Romeo, Christmas is all about a simple celebration and spending time with a healthy family.
“We just celebrate at home, eat then watch movies,” said last season’s Most Improved Player. “We’re happy with a simple dinner of pansit and chicken, the simple stuff. We’re not into that fancy stuff as long as we’re all healthy.”
Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin, on the other hand, will probably have the most diverse Christmas in the PBA.
He looks forward to spending time with his kids who will be visiting the Philippines, and eating Greek food his wife will cook.
“We’ll probably have Greek food, my wife’s Greek, she’s a fantastic cook and I’ll eat whatever she makes for us,” shared Baldwin, who likes turkey in the holidays.
Another turkey lover Doug Kramer said he’ll order his preferred poultry and whip up some Christmas food only the Globalport center can make.
“We stay home, spend time together,” Kramer said. “We order some turkey, roast beef, and I would love to cook for our celebration dinner.”
Star reserve center Jerwin Gaco, much-loved by fans for his funny honesty, had initial plans to go back to Quezon for Christmas had his team missed the quarterfinals. Though the Hotshots are already slated for a “Manila Clasico” showdown against rival Barangay Ginebra on Christmas Day.
Still Christmas for him is all about the children.
“Well we usually go to church then eat at home. We prepare hotdog, chicken, spaghetti, food children like.”
A rookie, however, veered away from tradition and even challenged the cold Christmas weather.
This year’s top overall draft pick Moala Tautuaa, an all-around funny man, has an unusual plan for Christmas.
“I want to go to Manila Bay and get a tan.”