NLEX coach Yeng Guiao wishes that PBA can slowly return to normalcy from the COVID-19 pandemic soon, beginning with teams resuming practices.
Guiao said the PBA can take the cue from sports leagues around the world that have started or resumed their seasons amid the threat of the pandemic.
“Ang gusto ko sana, slowly, magkaroon na ng gradual opening,” said Guiao in a coaching webinar by Hoop Coaches International. “‘Yung NBA, they are opening up their facilities so that the players can practice and get back into shape. Sa Germany, ‘yung Bundesliga, magbubukas na rin and Bundesliga is football at nagbabangaan din ‘yung mga players doon. Baseball sa Korea, balik na rin and MLB, I guess they are planning to start.”
The PBA suspended play in March, days before Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), and teams have not been able to train since.
Metro Manila will be under a modified ECQ starting May 16, but sports facilities will remain closed, with gatherings allowed to have a maximum of five people.
The PBA will decide on August whether to resume its season or cancel it based on the situation of the pandemic around that time.
Recognizing that the resumption of the season still rests on the government, Guiao said that the gradual return will go a long way not just for the basketball community but also for the morale of the whole country during the pandemic.
“Iba ‘yung baseball sa basketball although baseball, nagbabangaan pa rin ‘yan and basketball, may close contact. But football in Germany, they are already starting in a few days. Maybe we can pick up from that just to have some semblance of normalization not only for the PBA but also for the country na nararamdaman naman ng bansa na umo-okay na tayo at sumusunod tayo sa protocols at rules natin with regards to ECQ,” said Guiao.
When the season resumes, Guiao said the games must be held behind closed doors for the protection of all the participants. Games though should be aired in various platforms such as television.
“Kung gusto natin manood, wag muna tayo sa venue. TV tayo, livestream tayo, kung wala, sa radyo. I guess we can still all enjoy it that way.
“Mas mabuti ‘yun kesa wala,” he said.