GERALD Anderson’s scheduled debut with Marikina in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) was set back by a nagging hamstring injury that relegated the actor-baller to the role of cheerleader in the Shoemasters’ 88-81 win over the General Santos Warriors on Tuesday.
Anderson said that he was racing against time to get fit after hurting his hamstring a week before the season opened. He was disappointed to miss it, but also understood that he needs to be in top shape to play at this level.
“Nagkataon na nangyari yung injury sa akin week before. Sinubukan ko gawin lahat. Medyo malungkot at broken-hearted ako kanina. Matagal ko to inabangan, but ganun talaga,” said Anderson.
“Okay naman e, parang kumbaga kung liga-liga lang ilalaro ko talaga to. Pero ibang level ito e,” he added.
Make no mistake about it, Anderson is more than just a pretty face in this team.
Marikina ead coach Elvis Tolentino said that he expects the Kapamilya actor and avid triathlete to be one of the key players in his squad.
“Si Gerald one of the players na inaasahan ko aside from (Yves) Sazon. Malaki ang expectations ko kay Gerald,” said Tolentino.
Knowing that his game will be under scrutiny, Anderson is taking it upon himself to perform well as he tries his luck in semi-professional basketball.
“Kung mataas expectation niya sa akin, lalo na ako. Kung walang taping, may session ako sa bahay. Iba na ito e. Di to basta-bastang liga. Mas pangarap ko nga to kesa mag-artista e. But yun nga yung path ko,” Anderson.
The 29-year-old guard shared he’s been going out of his way juggling dual roles as one of the most recognizable stars in showbiz and a semi-pro player for the Shoemasters.
He’s thankful for teammates who’s helping him adjust amid the hectic schedule.
“Sobrang thankful ako na may opportunity. Thankful ako sa mga teammates. Tinutulungan nila ako araw-araw. Humahabol ako. Ang bait ng teammates at ang bait ng coaching staff,” Anderson explained.
“Minsan ako na mismo nag-aayos. Yung Star Magic di sila sanay na isa sa mga artista nila gusto maglaro ng basketball. Ako na mismo ang nagaayos sa schedule ko. Tinatanong ko nga lagi si coach, yung schedule ng games at practices, para makarating ako,” he added.
Fans can expect him make his debut next week when they visit powerhouse Muntinlupa, and he vows to be fit by then.
“Yung second game, nag-commit talaga ako. Bbyahe talaga kami. Yeah, I’ll be healthy enough.”