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Ronald Tubid is pretty much aware that his basketball career is already in the crossroads. However, the PBA veteran believes he can still play a year or two before he calls it a career and enter something different.
The last time Tubid was seen or heard off was during that forgettable incident at a San Miguel practice. This incident happened back in November where Arwind Santos, Kelly Nabong and then-import Dez Wells all figured in a skirmish.
It has been months since that incident and the smoke has cleared. Santos remains with the San Miguel Beermen while Nabong has been traded. Wells has gone home while Tubid is now weighing his options. His contract officially ran out last January 31.
What really happened at SMB practice
In a special interview, Tubid recounted that ordeal and gave details on how everything turned ugly. What most failed to report was that the 38-year-old was injured at the time and was in the sidelines assisting as a scorer before all hell broke loose.
“It just so happened na Injured ako nuon. So nag-scorer na lang ako non. Nagpa-checkup naman ako pero nagpupunta naman ako sa practice,” Tubid said.
The PBA veteran shared how Wells got irked when he found out that a replacement, John Holland was in town. With Wells bothered by an ankle injury, Holland was flown in as backup to the high-scoring import.
“Nag-practice naman siya kasi na-asar siya kasi bakit daw pinalitan siya na di niya alam. Kinausap na lang siya na back-up lang si Holland. Pag ok na siya, siya ulit magiging import. Eh napipikon kasi tinatalo siya nung import,” Tubid said.
And it appears Wells’ frustration started from there. Tubid recalled several plays where the former import was blaming Santos for botched plays.
“It just so happened na sila ni Arwind magkasama. Nag-balll screen tapos hindi nag-switch si Arwind. So
sinisisi niya si Arwind, kasi natalo sila,” he said.
In the next set, Wells and Santos played on opposing sides. Tubid even recalled how Wells tripped Holland.
“Pinatid pa nga niya import namin eh. Buti di natuluyan,” he said.
However, things just got ugly after one play. With Arwind giving a screen, Wells went down hard. Apparently peeved, the 27-year-old tried to get back at the PBA star as Santos was going for a layup. Tubis says that Wells was pretty angry and intentionally sent Santos sprawling. That is what sparked the fistfight.
“Nung magkalaban sila ni Arwind, nagkaliskisan sila. Pisikalan na. Nag-screen si Arwind, patalikod pa nga eh, bumagsak. Nung pa lay-up si Arwind tinakbo niya at talagang binungo niya at galit. Napikon. Nagsuntukan sila. Syempre kakampihan ko si Arwind, hind siya kasi si Arwind ang matagal ko na kasama. Tapos heto na si Nabong, sinuntok naman ako sa likod. Best friends kasi sila nung import,” Tubid narrated.
Wells, it just changed
It was a sad twist of fate for Tubid and Wells. According to the PBA veteran, it was him who first welcomed the import and that he was one of Wells’ first friends over at the SMB camp. But things just changed at some point.
“Pero ang unang kaibigan ng import ako eh. Nung ako nag welcome sa kanya, pinakain ko na nga siya at lahat-lahat. Tapos all of a sudden nahiwalay na sa amin, kasama niya mga Fil-Ams na. Nag-iba na ugali. Minumura na niya mga ballboy, utilities pati coaching staff,” Tubid recalled.
Why Tubid never reached out
Since getting suspended for that fracas, Tubid was nowhere to be found. The last update was that he was no longer with the Beermen. The former University of the East Red Warrior knows he made some wrong decisions from then until now but intends to correct all these soon.
“After that, na suspend nga kami. Di na ako nagsalita, di na ako nagpunta dun kasi baka magalit pa sa akin management. Binayaaan ko na lang. Yun ang mali ko di ako pumunta dun at humingi ng sorry,” Tubid said.
All is not too late and while his chances of playing in the PBA may not be that good, Tubid just wants to exit San Miguel as peaceful as possible.
“Pupunta din ako ng office, just to apologize and say thank you naging part ako ng San Miguel. Kung wala na, wala na talaga,” he said.
Tubid knows that he can still play for one to two more years. And while he prefers to still play in the PBA, he is aware that all teams are filled. He admits that he has gotten offers in the other league and mentioned the team where he could likely end up.
“Kung wala na talaga, may nag-offer naman sa akin sa kabilang liga. Pero hindi ko naman ina-ano muna. Kasi ang alam ko na kaya pa ng body ko mga one year or baka two years at the most,” Tubid said.
Even if he were to remain in the PBA, he is likely to get only spot minutes. The fire to play ball remains inside of him although he had hoped to exit the league amicably.
Regardless, Tubid already mentioned to this writer his plans as early as last year. He does have plans to run for public office in 2022. But before that, he wants to keep on playing for any team who can put him to good use.