KD, Ashton, or Akira? Francine Diaz won't say who's 'endgame' in new series ‘Bola Bola’

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2022 11:32 PM

Francine Diaz leading men in Bola Bola  Nice Print Photography
Francine Diaz’s leading men in ‘Bola Bola’ are (from left) KD Estrada, Ashton Salvador, and Akira Morishita. Instagram: @kdestrada_, @salvador_ashtonnn, @bgyo_akira / Nice Print Photography

MANILA — Francine Diaz will be paired with not just one, but three leading men in her new series, drawing early speculation as to who will be her “endgame” or final screen partner.

Diaz leads the cast of “Bola Bola,” an iWantTFC original title based on the book by Anna Geronga, to be directed by JP Habac.

In the limited series, Diaz will portray Thea, a 220-pound late bloomer who falls in love with her older brother’s best friend.

“Si Thea, na-excite ako maipakita siya sa inyong lahat. Para sa akin, ibang-iba siya sa mga character na na-portray ko before,” she told ABS-CBN News.

Thea’s character will have three love interests, to be played by KD Estrada, Akira Morishita, and Ashton Salvador.

“Nakakatuwa na ‘yung mga makakasama ko, hindi sila mahirap katrabaho,” Diaz said of Salvador and their fellow Squad Plus members, Analain Salvador and Danica Ontengco, who are also part of the cast.

Estrada, who is part of the same group, previously described his character as a “long-time friend” of Thea who has unspoken feelings for her.

“Ito ‘yung first time na makakasama ko rin siya sa isang project, pero kasama ko po siya sa Squad Plus,” Diaz said.

Of her three leading men, Diaz has known Morishita the longest, pointing out they formerly had the same management. They are both currently under Star Magic.

“Si Akira, magkasama kami before sa isang management, pero ngayon wala na kami doon. Nag-wi-workshop kami ng singing dati. Ngayon lang kami magkakasama sa isang trabaho, kaya excited kami pareho,” she said of the BGYO member.

As early as now, the potential pairings have drawn respective supporters, with fan pages taking on the names “FraNiel” (Daniel is Estrada’s second name), “FranKira,” and “AshCine.”

As love usually stories go, Diaz’s character is bound to end up with one of the romantic leads. She, however, was tightlipped on that prospect.

“Para sa akin, dapat niyo talaga mapanood, eh. ‘Pag sinabi ko, sobrang spoiler ng lahat ng story!” she said.

“Pero maraming puwedeng abangan sa ‘Bola Bola,’ maraming matututunan, good vibes. Hindi lang siya about love, about sa paghahanap ng kung sino ba ang magmamahal sa kaniya, it’s also about family and friendship,” Diaz added.

Aside from having three leading men, Diaz also marks a career milestone with “Bola Bola,” as it sees her first lead role in a series, apart from her teen group The Gold Squad.

“Ayokong ipasok sa isip ko na, ‘Akin itong series na ‘to, ako ang bida dito.’ Kasi hindi lang naman ako ang mapapanood doon. Marami kami,” she said.

“Masaya ako kasi makakasama ko talaga ang mga kaibigan ko. Ini-expect ko talaga na magiging masaya lang kami doon.”

The cast also includes Arlene Muhlach, Allan Paule, J-Mee Katanyag, and Vance Larena as Thea’s brother. Diaz confirmed that the role, initially given to Albie Casiño, has been recast.

The series’ quarantined production will start mid-February, according to Diaz.