THE family of Avelino ‘Samboy’ Lim is keeping everything simple as Philippine basketball’s ‘Skywalker’ turns a new leaf on April 1.
Robert Evangelista, the longtime friend of the former San Miguel superstar known for his high-wire acts, said it’s just going to be a regular birthday celebration for Lim given the current health crisis the country is facing.
Initially, a special celebration was being prepared as Lim turns 58 on Wednesday. That had to be cancelled in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“With all the precautions taken by the government and each one, it is best to cancel the celebration of Samboy’s birthday,” said Lim’s ex-wife Darlene Berberabe.
Berberabe, a lawyer by profession and formerly the CEO of Pag-Ibig Fund, decided to call off the celebration last March 15 when President Duterte placed the entire Luzon island under enhanced community quarantine.
Evangelista understands the situation especially given his friend’s condition as Lim continues to recover from the cardiac arrest he suffered during a 2014 Legends Game at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig.
‘Tatawagan ko na lang siya sa phone para batiin,” said Evangelista of the Manila City Engineer’s Office.
Lim’s condition has improved through the years, according to his friend. The former Letran star has yet to regain his speech, though he communicates by nodding his head or by opening and closing his eyes.
Evangelista said Samboy is likewise no longer bedridden, adding he’s already been sitting during daytime at home.
“Pag matutulog na lang siya sa gabi tsaka siya ihihiga,” said Evangelista.
Lim was last seen in public when he attended the graduation of his daughter Jamie Christine Berberabe Lim last June at the University of the Philippines.
The younger Lim, a member of the Philippine karatedo team, graduated summa cum laude at the UP College of Science and received the Joker Arroyo Medal for Outstanding BS Graduate in Mathematics.
She eventually won a gold medal in the last Southeast Asian Games by topping the women’s +61 kumite, a victory which she dedicated to her father.
Jamie just came back in the country last March 15 after taking part in karate tournaments in Europe and will join her mother in celebrating her father’s special day.
“The whole family appreciates everybody’s love and care for Sam,” said Berberabe.