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    Basketball stars, officials mingle with fans as PBA family runs for a cause

    Jul 4, 2015

    INCLEMENT weather and a very early morning wake-up call did not deter the 1,500 participants who took part in the 2015 PBA Run for a Cause 6 at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City on Saturday morning.

    PBA players, coaches, fans and even one team owner got together for a morning of fun and fitness in the 3K, 5K, 10K and 15K categories on a race course laid out from the Elliptical Road to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

    PBA commissioner Chito Salud said the event was meant to encourage their fans to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

    “This is the sixth year we have been doing this event and always padami ng padami ito. The fans like being with the players and the players of course love being with their fans,” Salud told SPIN.ph.

    “Since we’re in the semis right now not everybody could make it. Hopefully next season we could find a time when all of our players would be available.”

    Under the Alagang PBA umbrella, the league has held outreach programs as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) thrust.

    Doug Kramer poses with some fans before the start of the race.

    “We go to hospitals, disaster areas and we have meet-and-greet sessions in the malls and these are activities where our players have a chance to mingle with their fans and they absolutely adore their fans and vice versa,” Salud added.

    Players such as NLEX veteran Asi Taulava and GlobalPort's Doug Kramer took the time to chat with the fans during and after the race.  

    The proceeds of the fun run went to the Cancer and Hematology Center of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center.

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    A bum knee didn’t prevent retired pro Jojo Lastimosa from taking part. Arriving on his mountain bike, ‘Jolas’ said he welcomes these events since the PBA already faces competitions to promote the league.

    “Running is very good for the lower body and a good exercise and not just for us retired players. It’s a good offseason workout,” he pointed out.

    The former Alaska star, who grew up riding bikes and even “went to places vehicles don’t normally go," is a cycling advocate and even suggested the league should hold a ‘bike for a cause’ to encourage people to take  bikes instead of their cars to work as a way of saving fuel and the environment.     

    Probably taking the title of ‘Most Selfies taken With’ was KG Canaleta of the NLEX Road Warriors who gamely posed for photos with fans.

    “Okay ito para sa health natin and madaming nag-participate for a good cause. Sana magawa natin ito lagi," Canaleta said.

    Asi Taulava poses for a selfie with a fan. Dante Peralta

    GlobalPort Batang Pier team owner Mikee Romero said he has supported the fun run since two years ago, adding one of his advocacies is “to push youth to have sports as alternative to anything that they do."

    “Siguro kami ang PBA team na pinakamarami ang pumunta kasi team owner nila pumunta — 15 strong — the players, coaches, management and even the ballboys ran today,” said the affable business executive who said the PBA should do this more than once a year and in wider locations such as Bonifacio Global City that can accommodate more people.

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    Podium finishers received gift packs aside from the medals while several raffle prizes were also given away. 

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