FORMER GlobalPort shooting guard Jaypee Belencion was busy the whole Friday as he evacuated his family and all their belongings to higher ground while helping out neighbors in distress on Pureza St. in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
It has been like this for the Belencion brood each time a strong typhoon hits Manila.
“Lagi pong ganito. Kasi pag umapaw ang ilog, andyan lang yung ilog ng Pasig eh, apektado agad kami rito,” said Belencion as he keeps watch of flood waters that has reached knee high inside his house.
Belencion no longer takes chances when it comes to typhoons; not after the horror of Ondoy back in 2010 which struck Manila while he was playing in a league in Cebu, leaving wife Nikki and then one-month-old daughter Dominique alone to deal with the floods.
“Grabe po yung nangyari sa amin nun. Ayaw ko nang maulit yun,” Belencion told Spin.ph. “Umiiyak ako nun kasi ang layo ko wala akong magawa. One month old pa lang yung baby namin nun.
“Kaya ngayon pag may bagyo sinisikap ko na maging present sa bahay. Kasi mahirap na.”
Despite concern for their own safety, Belencion, according to wife Nikki, still managed to come to the aid of neighbors at the height of the flooding which reached waist deep in their place on Friday morning.
“Tumutulong rin si Jaypee sa mga kapitbahay namin 'pag kailangan. Lalo na matangkad siya, pag may mga aabutin nagpe-presenta na siya,” said Mrs. Belencion.
“Tapos nung tensyunado na ang sitwasyon, pumapasok na ang tubig … tumulong rin si Jaypee sa pag drive ng mga sasakyan nung mga kapitbahay namin. Dinadala nila sa Alegria, medyo mataas dun eh,” she said.
By Saturday, the worst of the flooding was over, but Belencion has one other worry. He is still without a team in the PBA and he has been trying out for the past two weeks hoping to land a spot in new ballclub NLEX Warriors.
“Mahalaga talaga sa amin ngayon lahat. Kahit mga munting palanggana. Kasi wala pa tayong contract sa PBA. Sana nga, makakuha na tayo ng kontrata,” said the sweet-shooting pride of Jaro, Iloilo, who is on leave with his D-League team Tanduay Light.
“Sana makuha tayo. Gusto ko po talagang makabalik sa PBA kasi pakiramdam ko marami pa kong pwedeng patunayan. Kulang po ang isang season ko,” he added.
The 28-year-old former Letran Knight acquited himself well in a short stint with GlobalPort, exploding for 21 points in one game and making the most of the few opportunities he got off the bench.
Belencion, however, failed to hold on to his place at GlobalPort and is now hoping for a new lease on life.
“Sana po makabalik pa ako. Yun lang ang laging dinadasal ko ngayon. Gusto kong patunayan na kaya kong harapin ang lahat ng unos patungo sa pagbibigay karangalan sa pamilya ko at team na lalaruan ko,” he said.