THE Alaska Aces didn’t need to look far to get the perfect muse for the opening ceremonies of the PBA’s 2012-13 season on Sunday.
She’s part of the Alaska family.
Nope, it’s not Alaska Milk endorser and popular television broadcaster Vicky Morales who will be given the distinct honor by the Aces as earlier rumored, but Rizzini Alexis Gomez, the reigning Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism winner.
If the name rings a bell, it’s because the 21-year-old Cebuana stunner happens to be the eldest of three children of Roel Gomez, the former Alaska sharpshooter who is currently the Visayas director for the Alaska Basketball Power Camp.
The 5-foot-9 Rizzi is a registered nurse who also won Best in Swimsuit and two other special awards during the Mutya pageant held at the UP Theater last August. She is set to represent the country in the 2012 Miss Tourism International in Kuala Lumpur on December 31.
Attending the opening rites will be like a homecoming of sorts for Rizzi, who used to roam the stands in the pro league when she was five or six at the height of his father’s career with the Aces.
“Biruin mo, naunahan pa niya mag-PBA ang mga kapatid niyang lalaki,” said doting father Roel, who has two basketball-playing sons currently making a name for themselves in leagues down South.
Roel, Alaska’s second-round draft pick and ninth overall in 1991 who went on to play the first nine seasons of a 10-year PBA career with the Uytengsu franchise, will be at courtside this Sunday to watch her daughter make history as the first daughter of a PBA player to become a team muse.
“Hindi lang maganda yan si Rizzi, athletic pa. Kasama ko yan mag-swimming at mag-jogging lagi dati. Binibiro ko nga lagi yan dati, kung naging basketball player siya, baka naging Michael Jordan of the Philippines siya,” said Roel.
Roel’s 16-year-old son Keanu Sean – so named after former Alaska import Sean Chambers – stands 5-9 and plays point guard for James Madison High School in US while Arvin Kim, 20, is 5-11 and recently won the three-point shootout contest in the Cesafi All-Star Game representing the University of Cebu, where his father is also head coach.
Aside from Gomez, the other muses for this Sunday’s ceremonies are 2012 Miss Earth Stephany Stefanowitz of Air21, international model Ciane Simoes Javier of Barako Bull, actress/model Sam Pinto of Global Port, actress/host Anne Curtis of San Mig Coffee, commercial model Georgina Wilson of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, the girls of TV-5’s Artista Academy for Meralco, actress/model/host Isabelle Daza of Petron Blaze, 2012 Mutya ng Pilipinas Camille Guevara of Rain or Shine and actress/former beauty queen Alice Dixon of Talk ‘N Text.