PREPARING for a wedding can be really stressful for a couple, so imagine if the groom, a basketball player at that, is also in the middle of the biggest series of his playing career.
That's exactly the case for CafeFrance cager Paul Zamar, who is set to marry longtime girlfriend Jane Arcangel in the beautiful island of Boracay. He is also setting his sights on a championship with the Bakers in the middle of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup finals series against Phoenix Petroleum.
The wedding is on Friday, a day after Game Three of the Aspirants Cup finals series between the Accelerators. In fact, Zamar will immediately fly to Manila on Saturday to rejoin CafeFrance practice.
But the 28-year-old Zamar knows his balancing act is all part of being a professional. And thanks to the understanding of CafeFrance management, he is able to juggle both the wedding preparations and playing for the Bakers.
“Sa isang professional player, kailangan mong gampanan ‘yung work mo,” Zamar said. “Although medyo sagasa sa schedule, nagpaalam naman ako kay coach Egay (Macaraya) saka sa management.”
“Babalik naman ako agad Saturday night sa Manila to help my team,” he added.
When asked how he's able to strike a work-life balance, Zamar laughed as he can't pinpoint exactly how the couple manage to do it. He even shared they still had wedding errands on Monday, a day before the crucial Game Two with CafeFrance in need of a win to level the series.
“’Yun ang hindi ko rin alam eh,” Zamar said. “By God’s grace, natawid namin. Natapos namin ‘yung mga wedding errands. Maski kahapon (Monday), may mga hinahabol pa kami. Mga konting problema pero naayos din namin. Very thankful kami kay God na binigyan niya kami ng strength para matawid namin ‘to.”
Zamar is also thankful for the patience of his soon-to-be wife who's been in a relationship with him for 12 years, and the support and advice of his father, San Miguel assistant coach Boycie, on how to balance the demands of his playing career with his wedding preparations.
“Naintindihan naman ng bride-to-be ko pati ng parents ko. Father ko, coach din siya. Ang sabi niya, mag-concentrate ako at day-by-day ‘yung approach ko. Hindi puwedeng lumayo ‘yung isip mo. ‘Yung nakaharap sayo ngayon, mag-concentrate ka. Saka mo aalahanin ang bukas,” the younger Zamar said.
As for the finals series, the former Barangay Ginebra draft pick was a key player in Game Two, scoring 13 points including three triples in the Bakers’ 86-77 win over the Accelerators. Zamar isn’t planning to take a day-off as he will even play in Game Three where the Bakers are eyeing a 2-1 series lead in the finals.
“Focus muna sa Game Three. Maglalaro pa ako sa Thursday. Siyempre, hindi ko iiwan ‘yung team ko,” Zamar said.
Of course, the honeymoon is on hold as the finals is ongoing but it will definitely be an even more memorable wedding gift for the newlyweds if CafeFrance also wins the Aspirants Cup title.
“Hopefully,” Zamar said. “Hindi rin bibigay ‘yung kalaban kasi malakas sila. We have to bring it to them.”