RONNIE Magsanoc will once again team up with Benjie Paras in the PBA All-Star Game on March 31, a partnership that has endured for 37 years.
Magsanoc and Paras will be in uniform when they play with North All-Stars in the annual event in Calasiao, Pangasinan. The former Shell teammates will be going up against their contemporaries in the former Purefoods dynamic duo of Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codiñera.
“I’m just looking forward to being with my contemporaries and of course, to honor the commissioner (Willie Marcial) for remembering what we were able to experience 30 years ago,” said Magsanoc, referring to the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the All-Star Game.
“Sa akin, everything right now is a bonus. I’m grateful and thankful and I just want to share some of my time with the present superstars. Thankful ako na nakakatakbo pa rin. It’s going to be special for the fans and for us as friends and contemporaries and also na makatabi mo ‘yung mga present stars. My thrill pa rin kaya thankful kami kay Comm. Willie for remembering us,” said Magsanoc.
The team-up is no longer a reunion as the two have stayed together even after their playing years are already over. Paras was an assistant coach when Magsanoc was the head coach of San Beda a few years ago, and the two also share the broadcast booth in ABS-CBN’s coverage of the NBA.
The rare partnership that started in 1982 when the two were teammates with San Beda High School have extended well beyond their playing years is something that Magsanoc cherishes.
“Very happy kasi katulad niyan, ninong siya ng anak ko nung maliit, ninong siya sa kasal. Parang si Kat (Magsanoc’s daughter), ninong siya nung maliit, ninong siya nung kasal. The friendship that we built many, many years ago is something that is truly worth holding on to. But more than that, we try to grow it and help each other out," said Magsanoc.
"The bottomline is we respect each other and we are happy for one another’s success. It’s a simple way of helping each other. 1982 to 2019 matagal na ‘yun. Thankful ako,” he added.
For now, they now look forward to playing alongside the present stars of Philippine basketball.
“Lagi naman kami magkasama. We work together. Actually siya ‘yung unang nag-yes tapos sabi niya sa akin, para sa mga anak niya. Sabi ko, sige tutulong ako. ‘Yun ‘yung fellowship at ‘yung pagkakataon na magkakasama at makita ka ng mga anak mo. Baka hindi na nila natatandaan. It brings back a lot of memories. But more than that, it’s being grateful for the chance of being part of something special,” said Magsanoc.