RONALD Pascual had a hard time accepting the fate that befell his PBA career, leading him down a dark path.
That was how Pascual's older brother Ronnel described to Spin.ph the plight the former PBA player had to endure since falling out of the pro league back in 2018.
"After mag-end ng contract niya sa Alaska, doon na nag-start ma-down ang buhay niya," he said. "Since then, hindi na namin siya nakakausap. We're assuming na dahil na layoff siya sa team and na-depress siya. Pero from what I heard kasi, may lapses din si Ronald eh, like late or absent sa practice minsan and then yung injuries din naman."
Pascual, the No. 3 pick of the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft, got a new lease on life when he was signed to a short-term deal by the Aces after bouncing around the league with stops at San Miguel, Star, GlobalPort, and Blackwater.
But once he wasn't renewed, the 6-foot-3 sniper had a tough time accepting his new reality, his brother said.
"After that, parang nawalan na siya ng direksyon at nawalan na ng gana mag-basketball," he said.
From then on, the Pascuals had a difficult time reaching out to Ronald, he said.
"Since then, hirap na kaming tulungan siya. Inaayawan niya yung mga tulong na in-offer namin sa kanya. Pero kapag walang-wala na, hihingi sya sa akin ng pambili ng pagkain. Lately, nagme-message siya na hihingi ng P100 o P200," Ronnel said.
"But yung help para mabago yung life niya, ayaw niya. Pinapauwi namin siya ng Pampanga, ayaw niya kasi siguro dahil din nahihiya. And kapag sinasabihan namin siya, nagagalit dahil na rin siguro sa depression n'ya at hindi niya matanggap yung nangyari sa kanya."
Ronnel also admitted that Ronald got in with a bad crowd, confirming what sources previously told Spin.ph that the former San Sebastian stud got hooked on gambling.
"Nasama siya sa maling barkada, hanggang sa nawala na sa kundisyon ang katawan at nahirapan na mag-recover. Sad to say, pero medyo nalulong siya sa sugal," the elder brother said.
And further complicating his plight were his personal issues, having been separated from his wife and two children who are based in Angeles City.
Ronnel added that just recently, Ronald broke off with his girlfriend and he was told to leave their Mandaluyong City condo unit.
"Nag-stay siya sa condo ng kinakasama niya, but iniwan na siya ng girlfriend niya at two weeks ago, napalayas na siya. Kaya si Ronald, palaboy-laboy na sa Mandaluyong," he said.
The Pascual family, however, weren't alone in trying to help Ronald.
"There was an attempt na tulungan siya ni sir Ronald Dulatre of NLEX, pero hindi niya sinipot," he said.
Since Ronnel came out in public with his cry for help, he said a number of former teammates and friends have reached out to them, hoping to help Ronald get back on his feet.
"Ang daming tumawag kasi hindi rin nila ma-contact si Ronald. Nag-message yung former teammates niya like Ian Sangalang, Calvin Abueva, Mike Miranda, Michael Juico, and yung iba pang Kapampangan ballers, nag-reach out na din sa kanya," said the elder Pascual.
Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso also stepped forward on behalf of the Aces offering a helping hand to their former player.
The good news is, Ronnel said he was able to get in touch with Ronald anew and he was receptive to the outpouring support he has received from his peers.
"I have talking to him and telling him na we are just waiting for you. Nandito ang tulong, ang daming gustong tumulong, at magpatulong ka lang," he said. "Umuwi sya dito and he will get all the help he needs. Ok naman ang response niya and kanina, nagpapasalamat siya sa message ko sa kanya."