NAY PYI TAW – The news came in a form of a text message at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Irish Ranola, a two-gold medal winner in Indonesia, collapsed on the floor of the room she shares with Rubilen Amit and cried unabashedly.
“Wala na siya,” Ranola whimpered to Amit who immediately rushed to her roommate and gave her a tight hug.
Emilio, Ranola’s 69-year-old father, died Wednesday night following a year-long battle with throat cancer.
Amit said Irish is very close to his father. “Daddy’s girl ‘yan,” she said.
Billiards official Robert Mananquil said they’re helping Ranola overcome the tragedy, but assured that she will defend her women’s 9-ball title.
“It is her father’s wish for Irish to play,” said Mananquil.
After the 10-world championship hosted by Manila, Mananquil said Ranola sought permission to visit her ailing father in Zamboanga following her stint in Zamboanga.
Ranola spent a couple of days with her father who gave her blessing to compete in the SEA Games.
She told her sick father to wait for her return from the Games, according to Amit. (Rey Bancod)