THE purpose may be noble but it’s something not feasible at this point.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial doesn’t think it would be possible to lend CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa to play for the Gilas 3x3 team that will be competing as part of the newly turned pro Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 tournament.
Marcial said the PBA may have already been given the green light to resume playing by the time the 3x3 meet starts its tournament, too, inside the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
“Kapag nagsimula sila, simula na rin kami nun,” said the PBA chief, referring to the obvious conflict of schedule between the two different leagues.
Perez of Terra Firma and Tautuaa of San Miguel make up the other half of the Gilas 3x3 men’s team preparing for the qualifying tournament to the Tokyo Olympics in May 2021. Alvin Pasaol and Joshua Munzon complete the squad, whose training had been stalled following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 commissioner Eric Altamirano said it would be good if Perez and Tautuaa would be allowed to join Pasaol and Munzon and play together in the tournament as part of their preparation for the Tokyo qualifier.
“Kung ako lang sana ang masusunod, I would love that. Mas gusto ko yun,” said Altamirano. “If you combine the four players in a competition setting, mas maganda, kaysa yung practice lang nang practice.”
“I hope sana we can come up with that or we can agree on that na payagan yung mga PBA players na kasama sa OQT na makalaro sa liga.”
But the former PBA player and champion coach also understands the situation facing both leagues especially in this time of the pandemic.
“You have to consider also na yung dalawang players natin coming from the PBA, may plano rin yung mga mother teams nila,” said Altamirano. “They’re about to restart na rin. It’s a matter of really plotting it out para ma-manage natin yung schedule of our Chooks players, and at the same time, yung mga PBA player to be able to practice. Hopefully we can come up with a win-win solution to both Chooks and PBA players.”
Aside from conflict in schedule, the different set of protocols the two leagues will carry out also hinders the 3x3 national team from practicing together.
For one, Chooks will be in a bubble inside the Inspire Sports Academy, meaning players will have to stay inside the school premises for the duration of the tournament.
Marcial doubts if the league PBA Board, more so, the team owners would allow Perez and Tautuaa to go through the process to the point of skipping their respective games.
The PBA, on the other hand, is doing a closed circuit system similar to the one applied by Bundesliga, where players follow a home-gym-home routine on a regular basis.
“Kapag nagsimula kami, mahihirapan na silang (Perez and Tautuaa) makipag-practice,” said Marcial.
Even when team workouts start, the schedule and protocols will still get in the way.
The PBA will maintain the similar closed-circuit concept, while Chooks, according to Altamirano, is going to practice in a centralized training facility involving all 12 competing teams.
“May kanya-kanya na kaming practices (by that time),” added Marcial.