MANILA, Philippines -- The NLEX Road Warriors have decided to forego a Christmas party this year, as they instead plan to donate their budget for the event to relief operations for those affected by Typhoon Odette.
Odette (International name: Rai) slammed into the Philippines on Thursday, with Bohol, Cebu, Siargao, and Dinagat among the most affected areas. At least 75 people have been reported killed in the aftermath of the super typhoon.
In light of the calamity, NLEX coach Yeng Guiao announced on Saturday that they have decided to cancel their team's Christmas party for the year.
"Actually, medyo malungkot din kami dahil 'yung mga kababayan natin sa Visayas at Mindanao, dinaanan ng bagyo," Guiao said after NLEX's 116-86 rout of the TerraFirma Dyip that hiked their record to 4-0 in the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup.
NLEX is one of four teams playing on Christmas Day, as they are scheduled to play Phoenix Super LPG. Guiao has expressed his hope that their games can provide "some happiness, some entertainment" to those affected by the storm.
But their organization also plans to provide more concrete help.
"Nagbabalak kaming mag-Christmas party ng team, pero napag-usapan na 'wag na lang mag-Christmas party," Guiao revealed.
"Whatever we're going to spend for it, ido-donate na lang namin sa relief operations for the victims of Typhoon Odette. Parang hindi magandang nagsasaya, kami nagpa-party, tapos meron tayong mga kababayan na nahihirapan," he pointed out.
"It's our small way para, siguro, makiramay sa mga kababayan natin with of course the permission of our bosses."
Guiao acknowledged that it was a sacrifice for their team as they have not had a Christmas party for the past two years.
"Pero I think, mas importanteng tumulong tayo sa panahon ngayon. One way din yun to help this Christmas season. And the Christmas day game to maybe makalimutan nila kahit sandali yung mga nangyari the past few days," he said.