THE Smart-Araneta Coliseum and nearby buildings shook as a strong earthquake struck on Monday just hours before Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series between Magnolia and Rain or Shine.
The magnitude 6.1 earthquake had several office workers in the Araneta Center area scampering outside as a precaution. That also includes players, team personnel, fans and officials who were already inside the Big Dome when the quake hit.
Both teams were already doing their shootaround when the earthquake struck.
"Nasa gitna kami tapos bigla na lang umuuga yung mga scaffolding. Pati yung scoreboard gumagalaw," said Magnolia guard Jio Jalalon.
Rain or Shine toughie Beau Belga continued shooting practice as if nothing happened, although he and the others made sure to stay away from the Big Dome's hanging scoreboard which swayed during the tremor.
A number of players, fans and coaches, like Magnolia coach Chito Victolero and players Raffy Reavis and Justin Melton, took the more cautious approach and were spotted outside the venue waiting it out for aftershocks just like the others.
Despite the tremors, Game Four proceed without any delay with Rain or Shine leading the best-of-seven series, 2-1.
Players were asked by venue securities to go to the side of the court before telling them to go back to their respective dugouts when the tremor was over.
Jojo Peralta, longtime liason officer of the Purefoods franchise, later asked league officials if Game 4 of the semis is pushing through.
Upon talking and clearing everything with management of the Big Dome, Commissioner Willie Marcial gave the thumbs up to proceed with the game.
A short prayer was later offered just before the game for everyone to be safe in the wake of the magnitude 5.7 tremor.