ALLAN Caidic has chosen to remain silent over the past few days, while the whole basketball world waited for news on good friend Samboy Lim's medical condition while clinging to hope that the PBA great would win the biggest battle of his life - just as he had done many times as a player.
"Sorry, pero ayaw ko lang kasing pangunahan ang family ni Sam re sa status niya ngayon," Caidic, distraught and apologetic, told Spin.ph on Monday - or four days since his longtime teammate was rushed unconscious to a hospital after collapsing in a Legends game at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
"Pasensiya na, at this time continious prayers ang kailangan," the former PBA MVP added.
Contrary to earlier reports, Caidic was not part of the Legends team that took on a Resorts World side in an exhibition game on Friday night. But he was among the first to reach the hospital shortly after hearing about the incident, weaving through Friday payday traffic to get there the fastest he can.
Amid speculations on Lim's condition and an outpouring of prayers and support for the well-loved PBA great, Caidic was one of the few to strike an optimistic note, posting on his personal Facebook page a message wishing his 'partner' a "speedy recovery."
"I want to remain optimistic," he said. "I know there is a lot of concern out there and prayers, pero gusto ko there is also hope."
But there is one thing the 'Triggerman' feels strongly about, saying one lesson that can be learned from the incident is the need for emergency medical teams to always be present in exhibition games featuring retired PBA stars, no matter where it is played.
Fellow PBA great Abe King, among the first to organize Legends games, has aired the same concern.
"Kung 'yung mga games ng mga active players may mga emergency crews, dapat lalo na 'dun sa mga Legends games dahil may edad na ang mga naglalaro," said the longtime national player, who is currently an assistant coach at La Salle and Ginebra.
In the case of Lim, Caidic said one of the organizers took the 'Skywalker' - with fellow PBA legend Alvin Patromonio and a masseur by his side - to the Medical City from the Ynares Arena in a private vehicle.
The trip took almost 30 minutes.
"Maraming puwedeng mangyari sa ganoon katagal na panahon," said Caidic.