NLEX coach Yeng Guiao thinks the PBA’s move to seek clearance to finally being allowed to hold scrimmages means the season resumption is nearing.
Teams are now in the second week of their respective workouts, and for players to break the monotony, the veteran mentor believes now is the perfect time to start playing five-on-five games.
“Yun ang challenge ngayon. If you want to be competitive by October, palagay ko in the next two weeks we need to be practicing in a regular way,” said Guiao on Monday.
The NLEX coach made the reaction after league commissioner Willie Marcial disclosed he already formally asked the government of allowing the league to conduct scrimmages through an official letter submitted to Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who is also head of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases).
Marcial made the announcement upon attending the joint presser between the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) about the resumption of collegiate training in school premises.
Guiao said the letter request should put the PBA on track of meeting the October 9 time frame when it hopes to restart the stalled season-opening Philippine Cup.
“I think we have to elevate our practice to scrimmages within the next two weeks in order to catch up doon sa time table natin kung gusto nating competitive tayo by October,” said the NLEX coach.
Thanks to the teams’ strict adherence to health protocols, Guiao believes the PBA’s request for scrimmages to be held will be given approval.
“Yung protocol natin ay kumbaga bubble na tayo, e,” he said, noting of the closed-circuit system being followed by all 12 teams during workouts where players, coaches, and key personnel only follows a home-gym-home routine on a daily basis.
“We’re actually more strict than yung regular na buhay na iniikutan natin ngayon.”
While Guiao appreciates the teams holding out workouts by batches of four or three players, he said sooner or later, five-on-five games should be incorporated in the training.
“Bitin nga e, kasi apat-apat lang. Hindi mo naman puwedeng pagdikit-dikitin o pagsama-samahin,” said the 61-year-old coach.
But kung gusto talaga nating mag-sharpen up na ng mga player at madala sila sa competitive level, I think we need to start at least going three-on-three or five-on-five,” he said. “Maybe in a week or so, kailangan na sigurong pagsama-samahin.”