IS the future of Philippine women’s basketball in the hands of this kid?
“Baka tennis,” was the curt reply of former Ateneo center Jobe Nkemakolam shortly after the birth of his daughter with partner Clarice Patrimonio.
For those who have been following the PBA since the eighties, we won't blame you if you may feel a tad old upon hearing the news.
Born last September 1, Athena Janna Carissa Patrimonio Nkemakolam is the first granddaughter of PBA superstar and nineties heartthrob Alvin Patrimonio.
"Sobrang saya si Daddy Cap nung makita niya si Athena. Iba raw pala feeling ng apo. For him it was more surreal than nung maging first-time dad siya,” Nkemakolam told Spin.ph as the Patrimonio family celebrated the arrival of the newborn.
Nkemakolam is a 6-foot-3 former player of the Blue Eagles in the mid-2000s, while Clarice is 5-foot-9 and for so long the No. 1 women's tennis player in the country, dominating the game with sister Christine.
Nkemakolam said he'd be happy to see his daughter follow in his mom's footsteps and become a tennis player, too. But in the end, he prefers to let her choose the path she wants — just as Cap had done with his daughters.
"I want her to focus sa tennis, just like mommy. But it’s really up to her, of course,” said Nkemakolam. "Athena is blessed with the genes of an Alvin Patrimonio. So hindi ako magugulat if she ends up being very athletic and dominant in basketball."
"So may chance talaga lumaki si Athena, but like I said, whatever she wants when she grows up, support lang kami. Same way that Daddy Cap supported her daughters."