THE areas and surroundings were all familiar for Ronald Tubid.
"Kasi madalas inaabot kami dito ng madaling araw kakalaro ng basketball," he recalled.
In his very own words, "lahat ito nalibot ko na."
The veteran San Miguel guard was referring to Barangays 424 (Zone 43), 420 (Zone 43), and 435 (Zone 44) in Sampaloc, Manila which he got to revisit after two decades on Thursday when he took part in the PBA Homecourt.
Tubid said it was heartwarming stepping on the same basketball courts even for just a few minutes where he used to play during his collegiate years at nearby University of the East.
Barangay 424 in particular where Tubid said he and his friends would usually see action in what he termed as 'inter-maligno.'
There were still some faces familiar to the San Miguel veteran who approached him during the outreach program led by Commissioner Willie Marcial.
"Malapit lang kasi yung UE dito. Iniikot namin ito, P. Campa, P. Noval, Balic-Balic," said Tubid. "Sobrang saya, parang ganito pa rin kung ano yung dati. Ako nga na-surprise. It's been 20 years bago ako nakabalik dito kasi may mga taong kilala mo pa rin dati."
Tubid's San Miguel teammate Kelly Nabong and the Blackwater pair of James Sena and rookie Abu Tratter were with him during the event that saw them play 3-on-3 games with kids and neighboring teenagers.
The group also conducted a free throw shooting contest where those who made the basket were given goodies and tickets to PBA games.
In parting, Tubid said it's important for aspiring basketball players to study hard and follow the will of their parents.
"Mga bata, susunod lang sa mga magulang. Walang hinahangad yung magulang na ikasasama ninyo," he said. "Importante ang pag-aaral at disiplina.
"Yung pangarap huwag bibitaw. Malay natin paggising ninyo, PBA na rin kayo gaya namin," added Tubid. "And don't forget to pray. Ika nga, play hard, pray harder." (RG)