10 most unforgettable athletes-turned-PBB housemates

Barry Viloria on Aug 18, 2015 08:52 AM
10 most unforgettable athletes-turned-PBB housemates
The Pinoy Big Brother House also had several other champion athletes inside even before national and collegiate swimmer Enchong Dee.

We were caught watching Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) just before the news of LeBron landing on Manila soil this week stole our entire attention. And part of what we saw recently was Enchong Dee, La Salle’s once-prized swimmer and national team pride, leaving the famed yellow house after a three-week stay. In his exit interview with the show’s omnipresent-omniscient Kuya, the now-full-time actor thanked the program for the experience and reveals “kung gaano kahirap ang pagdadaanan mo bilang isang housemate.” Aww, bro Enchong, who knew he’d be facing more (physically, mentally, and psychologically) daunting challenges past his record-breaking swimming feats in the UAAP and SEA Games?

Of course, Enchong isn’t just the only athlete who made it on the show. We look back at the rest from the sports world who made an impression while inside the Bahay ni Kuya.

Gretchen Malalad (Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition)
You don’t wanna mess with a karate black belter who's a Sea Games medalist for three years (2001, 2003, and 2005). Gretchen was always a force to be reckoned with among the Celebrity Housemates, as she was also a PBA and PBL courtside reporter and Philippine Air Force member. She made her mark more, however, when she exited the House and became a news reporter for ABS-CBN News. Remember when she was caught on cam figuring in a fistfight with Bong Alvarez at the police station? The former baller, caught for abusing a cab driver due to inebriation, attacked Gretchen who was the reporter at that time because he thought she was to harass him with questions. The mixed martial artist fought back upon instinct, and we all had the laughs.

Tin Patrimonio (Pinoy Big Brother: Unlimited)
What do you do when one of the greatest PBA stars (and heartthrobs) breeds a champion athlete, who just happens to be super pretty as well? Get her inside the PBB House. The pedigreed Anna Christine, or Tin, who carries the same interest in sports with sister Clarice, had a shot at showbiz but has since focused on tennis. She and sister Clarice now front the NU Bulldogs in the UAAP.

Michele Gumabao (Pinoy Big Brother: All In)
A key player in La Salle’s three-peat in UAAP women’s volleyball (Seasons 73-75), the multi-awarded collegiate sports star took a detour to showbiz in her supposedly last playing year. Upon her exit, Michele went back to playing for the semipros while juggling some hosting and other showbiz projects. She recently ventured into the food business with her newly opened Lebanese/Middle Eastern restau Shawarmama in Makati.

Bruce Quebral (Pinoy Big Brother Season 2)
Before gracing magazine spreads and runways, hunky Bruce played for the UP Fighting Maroons. The model made an instant eye-candy when he made it inside the House, along with beauty queen Wendy Waldez with whom he married years later after their PBB stint. They have annulled their marriage in 2012, sadly.

Axel Torres (Pinoy Big Brother: All In)
The brother of DLSU Green Archer Thomas, Axel also shared some athletic roots and even played for the Green Team both in grade school and high school. In college, he only made it to Team B—and this was his sob story in his entry to the House. Axel now puts his good looks to use as a model and actor.

Pat Sugui (Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010)
Like Axel, the charming Pat played for La Salle. Only that he was at LSGH and played football. He has since been part of ABS-CBN’s talent arm Star Magic.

Gaby Dela Merced (Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition 2)
We sure did enjoy seeing a badass racer—who’s a girl—inside the House. Gaby was an Asian Formula 3 2nd placer before she became a Housemate. She came out of it with her eyes set on conquering international competitions such as the Western Enduro Series Championship in California back n 2009.

Tricia Santos (Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010)
While some collegiate volleyball players chose to eventually rise from their on-court fame on to the showbiz stage, Tricia—one of the most controversial in her batch after another housemate jokingly pointed a knife at her—went back to ball-spikin’. She would be seen suiting up for UST in the UAAP later, but is now part of the DLS-CSB Lady Blazers playing in the NCAA.

Daniel Matsunaga (Pinoy Big Brother: All In)
Aside from being a model, the Brapanese dude is also a football player under Kaya Football Club in the UFL. Blame his South American roots but he first dreamt of becoming a football player like his idols Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima and Lionel Messi. He emerged as the show’s winner—the first non-Pinoy to win Pinoy Big Brother.

Rudy Fernandez (Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition)
The “Iron Man of Asia” who only has one leg, beat that. “Tatay Rudy,” which he was called often inside the House, served as an inspiration to a lot of us, long before PBB seemed to become a mill of wannabe celebrities and such.


Follow this writer on Twitter: @barrycyrus

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