REALITIES brought upon by the global COVID-19 pandemic are slowly taking its toll on the world of sports.
From tournaments shelved to contracts scrapped, the health crisis has not only put the games to a halt but also left the industry on its knees.
And it's all the more true for those who are looking for new chapters in their careers.
Take former San Sebastian guard Ryan Costelo as an example.
Wrapping up his run with Quezon City-WEMSAP this past Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup, the 25-year-old playmaker was supposed to test the waters and try his luck in Pasig-Sta. Lucia.
And then the virus came, forcing the whole island of Luzon to go under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and freezing everything all of a sudden.
"Pupunta na ako sa Pasig para mag-tryout. Nakausap ko na yung manager nila, si boss Buddy Encarnado, tapos biglang nangyari itong lockdown," said Costelo.
Everything almost seemed fine for the 5-foot-6 playmaker, with him reuniting with a familiar face in coach Bong dela Cruz.
The Realtors also boast a promising crew bannered by Jeric Teng, Josan Nimes, Leo Najorda, and Fonzo Gotladera as they finished the past season at seventh place in the North Division with their 18-12 record, only losing to two-seed Manila in the quarterfinals.
With the COVID-19 scare, though, everything is put on hold.
It's a tough predicament Costelo found himself in, without a team and without guarantee when the action will resume.
But he's keeping his hopes up and getting himself prepared whenever that green light comes for all the games to resume.
"Iba pa rin yung nasa actual na practice at laro ka kasi iyon ang gagawin niyo," said the Marikina native. "Mahirap, pero need pa rin mag-workout."
Costelo is also taking the opportunity to spend more time with his partner Charinelle Martinez and their one-year old son Pablo Nicholas.
"Masaya ako kasi tuwing gigising ako ay sila ang makikita ko and mas marami akong time ngayon na maka-bonding ko talaga sila unlike before na short talaga ang time," he said. "Kapag uuwi ako mula sa practice, tulog na ang baby ko. Pero ngayon, mahaba na ang time ko for my family. Siguro, yun ang magandang naidulot ng ECQ."
Grateful as he is for the extended family time he got, Costelo still prays that soon enough, a cure can be found and sports can once again be played.
"Sana matapos na ang threat ng virus," he said.