LA Tenorio, Asi Taulava thankful for opportunity to reach out to faraway fans
LA Tenorio assists Ginebra teammate Raymond Aguilar during the Skills Challenge. Jerome Ascano

BATANGAS City - As the road heading to Sampaguita Farm in Batangas City narrowed down on Thursday night, PBA players were left with no choice but to come down from the bus and walk the final kilometer of road leading to the venue.

That proved to be quite a treat people living in that small alley in Barangay Sampanga.

PBA stars like hometown hero LA Tenorio, Asi Taulava, Paul Lee and Stanley Pringle were just some of the biggest names who walked past and interacted with the fans who patiently waited for them.

The fans were left starstruck - and the players were equally thankful.

"Nakakataba ng puso. Dun mo talaga makikita how blessed we are as players sa ginagawa naming profession," said Tenorio.

"Nung nag-motorcade kami at umiikot kami, grabe talagang naghintay sila sa initan, or kahit gabi na, dun mo makikita na blessed talaga kami," he added.

Taulava, likely in his final All-Star, said it is what he appreciates the most in game set in the provinces.

"It's unbelievable. That's why we bring the All-Star Game to the province. In Manila, fans are seeing us everyday, but here they barely see us," said the league's oldest player.

"In a way, it's probably God's way of making us walk so we can mingle with our fans. Even though I got a lift after," he added laughing. "But it was fun. The fans got their pictures and that's all we want."

While Taulava and Tenorio weren't surprised with the reaction they received, All-Star neophytes in four-year PBA veteran Raymond Aguilar and rookie Lervin Flores were up for a treat.

"Very thankful ako na nabigyan ako ng opportunity na ganun. Sobrang saya ko na may mga tao talagang nag-abang para lang makita kami at magpa-picture," said Aguilar.

Flores believes it's the happiest days of his life.

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"Kakaiba. Ito na yata yung pinakamasayang araw sa buhay ko."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @CAJacinto11