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PBA’s The Triggerman recalls fond memories of colleague Skywalker

/ 12:20 AM April 08, 2017

The buzz about Kobe Paras being declared for an NBA (National Basketball Association) draft turned out to be fake news. According to his dad, former PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) superstar Benjie Paras, it was just an “April Fools’” prank. Foul, foul, foul!

PBA legend Samboy Lim is on his way to full recovery after he slipped into a coma in November 2014.

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Samboy’s photo with his ex-wife and daughter went viral recently. Fans of the “Skywalker” (Lim’s PBA moniker) were happy to see him smiling even when he’s still wheelchair-bound.

The good news about the former PBA stalwart broke just in time for tomorrow’s 43rd anniversary of the league.

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In celebration of the milestone, there will be PBA All-Star Games on April 26 in Cagayan de Oro, April 28 in Lucena, and April 30 in Cebu.

In this basketball-crazy country, the PBA remains to be our national pastime. Cagers are idolized like movie stars.

And there are many players-turned-actors.

Some ballers end up marrying show biz personalities. (I was part of the PBA Wives Club many dribbles ago.)

Another PBA icon, Allan Caidic, who is the Skywalker’s best friend, shares his Samboy stories with the Inquirer.

Here’s my chat with the Triggerman (Caidic’s moniker):

Any update about Samboy’s condition? Samboy can sit on a wheelchair the whole day without any problem with his blood pressure.

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There’s no more machine attached to him. He continues to have physical therapy.

He’s now allowed to swallow food, especially ice cream and soup. He reacts to positive and funny stories.

Although he still cannot see or talk, the family is thankful for the improvements. Let’s continue to pray for him.

What’s the craziest thing that you and Samboy did? During the 1983 Palarong Pambansa in Tacloban, we went to San Juanico Bridge and, in the middle of it, took our clothes off and had a picture taken with the NCR basketball team with only our briefs on.

What’s your most memorable moment with Samboy?

During the 1985 world interclub championship in Gerona, Spain, he played very well against an Italian team that we beat and, right after the game, he had an asthma attack. They treated him and put an IV overnight.

Since I was his roommate, I assisted the doctor, became his “nurse” and helped monitor his condition overnight.

Among the current PBA players, who would you say is your and Samboy’s heir apparent? Mine would be Jeff Chan.

We have the same built and form (lefties), and we are three-point shooters.

It’s hard to compare Samboy to other players because he’s one of a kind. But if we talk about built, physique and athleticism, the closest I guess is JC Intal and, for his daredevil moves, it’s Chris Newsome.

My fave

One of my favorite cagers is PJ Simon of Purefoods Star Hotshots. As of press time, his team remains unbeaten in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

PJ is movie-star material. No wonder he has his own fans’ club, “Simonatics.” Hoop, hoop hooray!

Here’s my chat with PJ:

What’s with you and Morissette? We’ve never met, but I am her fan.

What’s the craziest thing you did for love? When I flew all the way from Manila just to meet this girl and spend time with her.

What kind of girl would you fall for? Someone who’s happy with the simple things in life, God-fearing, passionate and has a good disposition.

How do you handle defeat? I pray.

Would you be willing to join show biz?

For now, I guess not, but I am not closing any doors.

What’s the craziest thing a fan did for you? When the Simonatics surprised me on my birthday.

They had this special video greeting flashed on an electronic billboard in Eastwood, plus fireworks.

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TAGS: Allan Caidic, PJ Simon, Samboy Lim, Skywalker, Triggerman
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