THEY’VE won championships left and right, collected individual awards, and brought pride and honor to the country countless times as basketball players.
But they consider being a father the best job in the world.
When SPIN.ph asked Jayson Castro, Marc Pingris, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood and Mark Barroca the question, “What’s the best part of being a dad?” all of them beamed with pride, as if they've just made the winning basket in a Game Seven of a PBA Finals.
Beasts on the hardcourt, these players willingly take on the roles of nannies, cheerleaders, playmates, and - in Pingris' case - a beautician when they are on daddy duty.
“Sobrang parang sa akin magmula ng magka-baby ako, nakumpleto ako,” Castro, 32, said while carrying young David Elli in his arms.
“Sobrang ine-enjoy ko ang pagka-father at saka hands-on kami magmula sa mga check up, magpalit ng diaper, kapag madding araw (nagbabantay),” added the first-time dad.
Star tough guy Pingris willingly becomes a warrior, a super hero or whatever he’s asked to be by eight-year-old son Mic during playtime. He turns into a salon staff when he spends quality time with Caela, his five-year-old daughter with the former Danica Sotto.
“Kahit sabihin mong nasa 30 plus na ako nagiging 15 years old na lang ako kapag kalaro ko sila,” he shared. “Total costume talaga, aktingan talaga.”
“Minsan ako ang nagbo-blower ng hair niya (Caela), magma-manicure ako sa kanya,” the Star bruiser added. “Hindi porke't lalaki ako hindi ko na gagawin ‘yun, hindi kabawasan ‘yun sa pagka-lalaki.”
Ping, however, pointed out that he tries to balance his role as a friend and father to his children.
“Pero ano rin kailangan may limit lang din naman kasi ayaw ko silang ma-spoil, so kapag may kasalanan kailangan kausapin, napapalo rin, kasi kailangan din nila ‘yun eh,” he said.
If Ping sometimes turn into a salon staff, Chan, 33, enjoys his occasional tea time in the make-shift castle of his two bundles of joy Amara, 6, and Aerin, 4.
“Princess (ang mga laro namin), bahay bahay, hindi naman ako nagco-costume, may mga ipit lang (sa buhok), wala kang magagawa,” said the Rain or Shine sharp-shooter.
But he’s not complaining.
In fact, he couldn’t be any more proud of his princesses upon seeing Ate Amara give way to little Aerin during a parlor game of musical chairs at a birthday party the family attended just recently.
“First of all, makikita mo sila lumalaki everyday tapos may mga moments na makikita mong magi-improve sila,” shared Chan.
“Doon sa game, magkatabi sila tapos huminto ang music, ginawa ng ate pinaupo niya ang bunso. Instead of siya, nag-sacrifice siya so nakaka-proud bilang tatay,” he added.
Chan’s teammate Norwood is overwhelmed with emotions when talking about being a dad.
“Man, life,” said the 32-year old dad of Cassius, 8, and Orion, 5, with one more on the way for the Norwood brood.
“You got to impact real life and really see them grow and mature, it’s really a blessing to be a father to have that role and have that responsibility,” he added.
“It’s awesome ‘cause watching them is like watching myself. Its kinda scary but it’s a lot of fun at the same time,” he smiled.
Barroca said daughter Natalie Faith is his biggest motivation in life.
“Ang pinakamasarap sa pagiging tatay ‘yung makikita mo ang anak mo, tapos siya ang motivation mo sa lahat ng bagay,” said the Star point guard.
Best dads ever, right?