SMART CLARK GIGA CITY – Alaska is more than willing to help former family member Ronald Pascual in any way it can.
Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso said he felt saddened upon learning about the current plight of the 32-year-old Pascual, who last played for the Aces in 2018 before mysteriously dropping off the PBA radar.
The Alaska coach said he read the touching social media post of Pascual’s brother Ronnel, who described the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft as being ‘in the deepest and saddest stage of his life.’
“It’s unfortunate to hear of what is happening now. We’re praying for him. He hasn’t reached out to us yet. So we’ll see if we can find a way to reach out to him,” said Cariaso on Wednesday. “He’s a former Alaska player, and if we can help him in any way, we will.”
Pascual’s brother didn’t exactly specify the dilemma the former PBA player is going through except to seek prayers and support for the 6-foot-3 wingman, who formed one-third of San Sebastian’s famed ‘Pinatubo Trio’ with Calvin Abueva and Ian Sanggalang.
“I believe he has already hit rock bottom and now the only way is up,” said Ronel in his post that was shared by MR. CabalenHoops on Facebook.
Pascual was selected third overall by San Miguel in the rookie draft six years ago. While he won championships with the Beermen, he didn't stay long with the franchise, and had brief stints with Magnolia (Star), NorthPort (Globalport), and Blackwater before finally donning the Alaska jersey.
It appeared even during his time with the Aces, Pascual was already facing personal issues which Cariaso was not really privy to since he was still an assistant to then head coach Alex Compton.
“Not to me personally, to be honest si Alex pa kasi ang coach (that time). I’m sure he shared stories with Alex,” said Cariaso.
“Me naman as an assistant at the time, I was just trying to do my best to encourage him to stay positive, bring the work ethic to practice because we knew that if he works hard when he is given the opportunity to play, we want him to do well. So that from there, he can extend his contract, maybe extend his playing time,” Cariaso added.
But even if he looked like he was dealing with personal problems during his time with Alaska, Pascual would go about his work professionally, recalled the Aces coach.
“He came into practice and honestly, it really seemed like wala siyang problem, wala siyang issue. So he came into practice, he was smiling with the guys, laughing with the guys. Trabaho siya, he really worked hard,” said Cariaso.
“You know of the little issues na meron siya because of the coach talking, so siguro napag-usapan nila ni coach Alex noon,” he added. “But he never really opened up to us. I wish he did, maybe we would have been able to help him out even more.”
The most important thing now, according to Cariaso, is to be able to check on the welfare of Pascual and extend any form of assistance the team – or whoever else for that matter – can give.
“We’re hoping that he’s in a good place or in a better place right now. It’s just really about being able to move forward. It’s about life, it’s about trying to find something that can make you happy,” said the Alaska great.
“Again, we’ll see if we can reach out to him. If not, maybe he’ll reach out to us, tapos we’ll do what we can to help him.”