Before Lockdown: Sky’s the limit for disabled ligang labas player Ruzel Doble

May 1, 2020
PHOTO: Sneakers and Ballers Club

In's 'Before Lockdown' series, we take a look at the "last two minutes" before sports was completely shut down around the globe. Athletes from the few games that were played this year look back on the last few days (and the last few games) before the new normal.

ALONGSIDE the country’s largest sporting events, minor leagues like summer tournaments and ligang labas were put to halt when the COVID-19 pandemic began its deadly spread around the Philippines.

Such was the case for Ruzel Doble, a 19-year-old basketball player, who played in the Sneakers Basketball Club.

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Playing in the now-unfinished tournament of the Sneakers Basketball Club, Ruzel occasionally received Player of the Game honors — a remarkable achievement, considering that he was born with an underdeveloped left arm.

When a dream is fueled by passion, there are no holds barred.

“’Yung kapansanan hindi hadlang kung talagang gusto at mahal mo ang ginagawa mo,” he told SPIN Life. “Basta ako, pinapakita ko lang kung ano ‘yung kaya kong gawin.”

Ruzel, who stands tall at 5’10, lives in Tondo, Manila.

“Mahigit 10 years na din akong naglalaro, nagsimula ako elementary pa kasi may malapit na court sa amin,” he shared, recalling his earliest memories of basketball, honing his game on the hard asphalt. “’Yung mga pinsan ko at mga kaibigan ko mahilig maglaro, nanonood lang ako tapos na-engganyo din ako subukan.”

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The process, however, was never a walk in the park. But thanks to his unfailing self-control, he survived the inevitable on-court teasing about his disability.

“Hindi talaga maiiwasan ‘yung pangta-trashtalk. Ako, gusto ko lang maglaro, kaya ginagawa ko lang inspirasyon ‘yung mga sinasabi ng iba, sila pa nagmo-motivate sakin para galingan ko pa,” he said.

Doble represented his senior high school strand in school intramurals in Arellano University, and participated in the nationwide Milcu Sports Basketball tourney. He revealed that he is also a huge fan of the PBA and the UAAP, and watches games live whenever he gets the chance to do so.

“Mahilig po ako manood ng PBA, sobrang idol ko si PJ Simon tsaka si Thirdy Ravena naman sa UAAP,” he said.

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When the academic year’s back in its normal pace, Doble will try his luck in the college varsity of his chosen university.

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PHOTO: Sneakers and Ballers Club
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