Olsen Racela and his do-it-all Energen Pilipinas youth team spent overnight at the SGS gym in flood-struck Araneta Avenue in Quezon City.
As of 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Racela and his team remained at the venue as route along and nearby the said avenue was not yet passable.
“Nothing to worry, we’re on the third level of this gym,” said Racela, who is handling the youth team for the second straight year.
“But we can’t leave because the road is still not passable, so we’re just waiting for the water to subside.”
Racela told InterAKTV that while they were waiting for the flood situation to get better, a Good Samaritan was able to help out his team composed of 18-under players.
“The owner of the gym provided us champorado for breakfast,” he added.
The squad will be leaving next week for Mongolia for the FIBA Asia Under-18 youth tournament, a qualifying event for the World Under-19 tournament next year.
Some good news
But some of Racela and his troop’s sacrifices have been rewarded as news was relayed to them that the UAAP and NCAA will lend all the players being requested by the coach on his wish list.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios told InterAKTV that the two leagues have agreed to loan players to the youth squad in time for the tournament.
“We’ve made proper communications and the two leagues have agreed to loan the players enlisted for the youth squad,” said Barrios. “In fact, Fr. Vic Calvo of Letran also made an effort to adjust their NCAA schedule that the players who will be loaned by the schools won’t be affected as well.”
Among the UAAP players who will be loaned to the Energen Pilipinas squad are rookie big men Gideon Babilonia and Kristoffer James Porter of Ateneo, forward Mark Anthony Olayon of University of the East, Hubert Cani of National University and guard Jerie Pingoy of Far Eastern University.
Racela added that three more players coming from Team B of different UAAP schools will also be allowed to join the Energen Pilipinas.
Included in Racela’s wish list for the NCAA are Arvin Tolentino and Andrei Caracut of San Beda, and Mario Bonleon of La Salle-Greenhills.
Isaac Go of Xavier School is another big man expected to join the squad.
» Past is past: Petron has moved on from Renaldo Balkman episode
» Charged to experience: Petron coach Olsen Racela wants to move past loss to Talk ‘N Text
» One more chance: Petron Blaze Boosters throw full support behind Renaldo Balkman