[Here is Part 10 of our long-running WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends) Series]
BARANGAY Ginebra is a diverse group of players, coaches and officials which has somehow found a way to co-exist and get its act together to move on the brink of the popular franchise's first PBA championship in eight years.
The Gin Kings' WAGS [wives and girlfriends] are no different.
The queens behind the Kings mostly stay in the background, but in their own little way have found a common ground as they pray and cheer for the team through the ups and downs of a wild first season under legendary coach Tim Cone.
Like the players, the wives and girlfriends are also a divergent bunch that counts the demure and the showy and the prayerful and the shy to the outright jologs among its members.
Take for instance Mrs. Christina Cone, who - because of the enthusiasm of the Ginebra crowd - admits letting her hair down and sometimes losing her poise while cheering for the team, but making sure never to go overboard.
“Oo, nagchi-cheer ako all the time, nakikita mo naman ako parating sumisigaw,” the lovely wife of the PBA's most successful coach of all time told SPIN.ph.
“Wala ng hiya-hiya, wala na poise," she laughed. “Nakakahawa talaga kasi ang fans, ‘yung supporta nila, you get carried away talaga and you’ll really enjoy the game.
“I try to be a sport about it but to cheer all out talaga, how can you not with Ginebra?”
But when the games become heated and the cheering and the jeering gets really intense, Mrs. Cone makes sure to keep her emotions in check and still mind her manners.
“I always make sure na proper pa rin what you say when you cheer, it’s not bashing or nagmumura,” she smiled.
For actress/model and self-proclaimed jologs RR Enriquez, trying to stay composed during a Ginebra game is a futile exercise.
“Tina-try kong i-compose ‘yung poise ko para medyo sosyal ‘yung dating pero hindi talaga kinaya,” the longtime girlfriend of Jayjay Helterbrand said, laughing at herself.
"Nahihiya din ako sa kasama ko pero buti na lang ‘yung mga kasama ko mga wives and girlfriends din. Nagsisigaw din sila, mas malakas pa sa akin so wala nang pa-sosyal, jologsan na, cheer na kung cheer,” she added.
Japeth Aguilar’s girlfriend, model/beauty queen Cassy Naidas, is no different.
“Kapag close ang game, nadadala kami ng game and nagsisigaw kami, wala talaga kaming poise. 'Yung normal namin walang poise hahaha,” said Naidas, who used to play basketball in high school.
Cassy said she understands the game enough not to get caught up when Japeth gets involved in some physical plays.
“It’s part of the game, it’s a physical sport and as long as nasa context ‘yung pagka-physical ok lang naman,” she said.
Karla Aguas, girlfriend of Nico Salva, said the cheering and the jeering is all in good fun.
“What can you do, you try to uplift the spirit of the team kahit wa poise na,” she said. “Oh yeah, there are times naman nakakapag-curse ako, nawawala ang poise ko kapag intense pero basketball naman eh, so it’s just good fun.”
Pau Fajardo, girlfriend of Scottie Thompson, and Monica Devance are perhaps the most 'calm' in the group.
“Kasi ako every game, kahit noon pa sa NCAA, cool lang kasi kung pati ako ipapakita ko sa kanya na kinakabahan ako baka kabahan din siya,” said Fajardo, whose is in a four-year relationship with the Ginebra rookie sensation.
“Siguro pag intense na ang game, doon ako sumisigaw pero kapag naman lamang kami kalma lang, keri keri lang,” she added.
Mrs. Devance has more or less the same mindset.
“Sometimes I do find myself getting a little crazy but for the most part, I try to remain calm,” she shared. “But it’s my kids who love to cheer and dance, they always scream for their dad and Bella who is the eldest always cheers for daddy.”
Actress Denise Laurel and teacher Cathy Ong-Cruz turn to prayers in the most stressful of games.
“Nagse-stress eat ako ng pop corn ... joke,” said Laurel, girlfriend of Sol Mercado, said when asked how she deals with the wild ups and downs of Ginebra games.
“I usually bump shoulders with Monica Devance to release my emotions, I usually push her ‘coz I’m so stressed and Lauren (Hudson, girlfriend of Mark Caguioa) is on the other side beating her up so all of us ladies are I guess non-stop cheering and full support for the guys,” she added.
“But I’m saying a prayer on my mind throughout the whole game, pretty much chain the rosary while the game is going on,” she continued.
Ginebra can count on another prayer warrior in Mrs. Jervy Cruz.
“Nako kinakabahan ako talaga kaya nagdadasal na lang ako," said Cathy. "Sumisigaw din ako syempre pero mas madalas nagpe-pray.”