By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

PART OF THE Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League with the Zamboanga team, Family’s Brand Sardines is coming to the aid of employees of the fledgling league affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis.

Treating them as family and one of its own, the sardines brand moved to donate one box of different Universal Canning Incorporated (UCI) products per staff and referee of the MPBL, with each box containing 48 cans.

The group said it was its way of giving back to the league and in line with its push to underscore the need for everyone to their part in the fight against the highly contagious respiratory disease.

“That is what family is for. We don’t just show our compassion in good times, but more during difficult times. We treat MPBL as a family, too,” said Family’s Brand Sardines head of marketing Tonet Roque, who is also in charge of the Zamboanga team’s day-to-day operations.

“We are representing the City of Zamboanga, and as the sardines capital of the Philippines, we felt the need to support the staff of the MPBL, they are the true Manok ng Bayan,” she added.

The Family’s Brand Sardines officials said that they recognize that the fight against COVID-19 may linger for a while, hence, the need to have each other’s back in forging ahead.

“In this time of crisis, nothing matters most than our family. Whatever happens or however long this will take, we will get by with the help of our family,” Ms. Roque said.

Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines made it all the way to the semifinals of the MPBL Lakan Cup, losing to Davao Occidental, 2-0, in their best-of-three series.

The MPBL was forced to suspend the division finals of the Lakan Cup in accordance with the government’s declaration of state of public health emergency and enhanced community quarantine last month.

Under the declaration, mass gatherings, like sporting events, are prohibited.

At the time of the suspension, the best-of-three finals between San Juan and Makati (North) and Davao and Basilan (South) were tied at a game apiece.