CHICAGO -- The mouth of NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao is one the few remaining vestiges of truth in the PBA.
On the heels of the postponed game between San Miguel and Alaska, Guaio spoke, and I listened intently like it was mid-morning Friday novena at my alma mater, the Colegio Del Santo Niño in Cebu City.
Guiao offered no sermon, thank goodness, he merely volunteered his God honest opinion about how challenging this stop-and-go PBA Philippine Cup has been.
"You are only as good as your last swab test," he told my SPIN.ph colleague Reuben Terrado.
"Kapag sumabit ka sa swab test ang hirap magbalik na mawawala ka sa rhythm, yung practice mo maistorbo, yung players mo magka-quarantine, yung games mo marereset," he added.
Guiao also emphasized that winning the title somewhere down the virus-bricked road means scaling two mountains -- the virus and the competition.
Nail in the forehead.
A lesser coach, one with an inferior pedigree and a lower IQ, wouldn't have touched this sensitive issue.
NOT GUIAO. HE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS. HE ISN'T ROBOTIC AND DOESN'T FOLLOW A SCRIPT. HIS INTERVIEWS ARE NEVER VANILLA. THAT'S WHY I PUT HIM ON A PEDESTAL ABOVE ANY OTHER COACH IN THE PBA RIGHT NOW.
To Guiao's point, this conference has also been hard on the fans who have to deal with postponements and player absences, inconveniences that rob them of the pleasant continuity that is the heart of following a sports league.
It's been 50 days since this conference started and the team on top of the standings -- TNT -- has played only five games. That's 1 game every 10 days.
Ain't that terrible if you're a Tropang Giga faithful?
With the coronavirus showing no signs of slowing down in the Philippines and the vaccination rollout is traveling only at a 19.5 percent rate, per Statistica.com, there are hard questions to ask.
Is this all still worth the trouble and the risk?
Should the semi-bubble in Bacolor, Pampanga just wrap up and dribble another day?
That's for the PBA Commissioner to answer, if he is up to it.
But like what the NBA did, I understand the PBA's insistence on keeping the lights on.
Players, coaches, team personnel need their paychecks.
Sponsors need to be satisfied and made whole.
Teams need TV revenue.
To balance the handling of a raging pandemic while preventing more bleeding from the league's books is perhaps the greatest trial in the tenure of Willie Marcial as PBA Commissioner.
There are two enemies here, Guiao sagely reminds us.
Hopefully, Kume Willie can somehow find a win-win.
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