Photo from MPBL/ Chooks-to-Go PilipinasAROUND THE REGION224
COVID-19 stalls ex-QC guard Costelo's bid to join Pasig in MPBL
by Courtside Philippines, May 16, 2020 11:21am
AFTER his stint with Quezon City-WEMSAP in the 2019-2020 Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup, spitfire playmaker Ryan Costelo was set to join Pasig-Sta. Lucia’s tryouts for next season.
Then the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic happened, forcing the government to place the entire National Capital Region and Luzon under Enhanced Community Quarantine, at least until May 15.
“Before itong ECQ dito sa NCR, pupunta na ako sa Pasig para mag-tryout. Nakausap ko na iyong manager nila, si boss Buddy Encarnado tapos biglang nangyari itong lockdown,” said Costelo, who also suited up for Muntinlupa, Marikina, and Zamboanga before playing for the Capitals.
“Si coach Bong Dela Cruz ang kumausap sa akin kasi naging (assistant) coach ko siya sa Muntinlupa. Tapos ngayon, siya na head coach ng Pasig,” he added.
While the ECQ delayed his bid to earn a spot on the Realtors’ line-up, the 5-foot-6 Costelo, a former San Sebastian College-Recoletos skipper, is grateful for the chance to spend more time with his partner Charinelle Martinez and one-year old son Pablo Nicholas.
“Masaya ako kasi tuwing gigising ako ay sila (family) ang makikita ko and mas marami akong time ngayon na maka-bonding ko talaga sila unlike before na short talaga ang time,” said Costelo.
“Kapag uuwi ako mula practice, tulog na ang baby ko pero ngayon mahaba na ang time for my family. Siguro, ayun ang magandang naidulot ng ECQ.”
Costelo also makes sure he remains in shape during the ECQ— albeit not fully in game shape.
“Iba pa rin iyong nasa actual na practice at laro ka kasi iyon ang gagawin niyo,” said the 25-year-old.
“Mahirap. Pero need pa rin mag-workout.”
With former University of Santo Tomas shotcaller Bong Dela Cruz at Pasig-Sta. Lucia’s helm, Costelo is convinced the Realtors can make a big run next season.
“Kilala naman natin si coach Bong (Dela Cruz). Galing siyang UST and maayos talaga ang program niya,” said the Barangka, Marikina City native.
“Umabot nga sila ng UST sa finals dati, ‘di ba? Kinapos lang.”
Behind the likes of former pros Jeric Teng, Josan Nimes, Leo Najorda, and Fonzo Gotladera and former Adamson University guard Robbie Manalang, Pasig-Sta. Lucia wound up with an 18-12 card in the Lakan season for seventh in the Northern Division.
The Realtors lost to the No. 2 seed Manila Stars in their quarterfinals battle.
Costelo hopes the health crisis ends soon so the league can finish its Lakan Cup and begin a new one.
“Depende rin ang start ng next season sa pagtatapos ng season na ito. And, depende rin sa government kung papayagan na ang mass gathering,” he said.
“Sana matapos na ang threat ng virus.”
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