With access to their gym facilities blocked by heavy flooding brought about by typhoon Mario, Blackwater Elite, Ginebra and several PBA teams were forced to cancel practices on Friday morning.
Ginebra officials cancelled the team's scheduled 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. practice as floods in and around Ortigas Avenue extension rose as high as waist level, rendering the roads leading to the CCF gym not passable.
“Mataas na ang baha eh. May ilang mga players pa kami na galing sa mga areas na baha. Kaya pinakansel na,” said a team official.
If the weather doesn't improve, Ginebra might also be forced cancel its Saturday tune-up versus the GlobalPort Batang Pier. The scrimmage was initially put on hold due to lack of venue, as the CCF gym normally closes on weekends.
Araneta Avenue in Quezon City, meanwhile, was among the worst-hit areas in Metro Manila, forcing Blackwater team manager Johnson Martines to immediately issue the cancellation of training at the SGS Gym.
“Maaga pa lang nagmo-monitor na ako sa radio at TV, nung nakita ko na mataas na ang tubig sa Araneta Avenue, kinansel ko na,” said Martines.
Also announcing cancellation of practices on Friday were the Barako Bull Energy (Hoops Center), Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters (Moro Lorenzo), NLEX Warriors (Meralco Gym), San Mig Coffee Mixers (Ronac Gym), San Miguel Beermen (Acropolis Gym), Kia Sorentos (Unilab Gym) and Rain or Shine (Nega Gym, Greenhills).
Since they joined the PBA D-League in 2011, the Ever Bilena franchise has been using the facilities of the SGS Gym, the same building where the national youth team of Olsen Racela was stranded at the height of Typhoon Ondoy the same year.
Martines bared that despite the inconvenience, they have no plan of looking for another practice facility.
“OK na kami dun sa SGS. Kasi bago ang facilities saka parang pamilya na kami ng may-ari,” he said.
“Problema lang talaga dyan pag bumabagyo. Pero hindi naman madalas na ganun (may baha),” said Martines while revealing that the management of SGS gym even allowed Blackwater to build a small team office at the building’s third floor parking.
Meanwhile, the Meralco Bolts have cancelled their tune-up game versus a Korean pro-team, KCC Aegeis at the Meralco gym.
“Wala. We’re forced to cancel it. Mahihirapan lang bumiyahe ang mga players baka ma-stranded pa sila,” said Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo.
As typhoon Mario and Habagat are expected tobring showers in the Luzon until Sunday, Coach Yeng Guiao has already cancelled Elastopainters’ practices until Monday,
Meanwhile, government officials have warned people living in low-lying areas to evacute immediately as flooding is expected to worsen since La Mesa Dam has already breached the critical level of 18.8 meters.
The Tumana River in Marikina is also on a steady rise, prompting the local government to evacuate families from low-lying areas.