From Michael and Matt Nieto to the Ravena brothers, athletes from sports communities team up to support Filipino frontliners
Photo from Facebook
Shortly after the announcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Manila, many sporting leagues and events have put their games on hold for the safety of athletes and everyone involved.
Overseas, the NBA decided to cancel its games due to one of its players testing positive for COVID-19 while the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was also postponed due to the rising number of cases worldwide. Locally, the postponed and canceled sporting events and leagues include the Palarong Pambansa, PBA, NCAA, and UAAP.
Instead of training, these athletes and teams have decided to use their extra time and resources to help frontliners and those affected by the pandemic. Some PBA players have come up and collaborated on their own donation drives to assist those in need and inspire fans to contribute.
UAAP athletes such as Matt and Michael Nieto also posted how they’re helping out during this difficult time. Together with their family, the Nieto twins have been leading donation drives and deliveries for food and medical supplies in Cainta, Rizal.
Fellow Ateneo Blue Eagles Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena, together with volleyball stars Dani Ravena and Alyssa Valdez, have also devoted time by repacking meals and distributing them at checkpoints for frontliners in Cainta, Rizal. UP Fighting Maroons’ Juan and Javi Gomez De Liano as well as players from UST Growling Tigers and DLSU Green Archers have all put their jerseys up for auction on May Twenty Ako to raise funds.
Meanwhile, Creamline setter and former Ateneo Lady Blue Eagle Jia Morado also spearheaded a jersey auction initiative with her beau Miguel De Guzman by launching the Facebook page Every Little Thing Counts. Several members of the volleyball community extended their support to Morado and donated their jerseys. All proceeds of Morado’s project will go to supplying medical gear and equipment needed by frontliners.
Aside from these athletes, universities have also stepped up and opened their doors. De La Salle University and the College of Saint Benilde offered their sports facilities as temporary shelters to house 79 homeless people amid ECQ. The College of Human Kinetics of the University of the Philippines Diliman also offered their gym as a venue to test sanitation tents for the use of healthcare workers and frontliners. They plan to present the effective prototype to LGUs once finished.
Other sports facilities are also converting their venues into COVID-19 facilities. The gym at Rizal Stadium and the PhilSports Arena will be used to decongest hospitals treating patients, among other facilities such as the Philippine International Cultural Center and World Trade Center.
As of Mar. 31, there are 2,084 confirmed coronavirus cases reported in the country.