NLEX coach Yeng Guiao sees May 15 as the most important date for the PBA in its bid to play the 2021 season.
Guiao hopes that teams can already be allowed to resume practices by then to pave the way for the launch of the long-delayed season, as he believes the PBA can no longer afford another postponement.
“The crucial date is May 15,” said Guiao. “Sa akin, ‘yan ang crucial date. If we are able to start full practice on May 15, then I think that’s going to be fine for the league. But if we cannot start full practice on May 15, I think magkakaroon tayo ng tight schedule.”
Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan are under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14, preventing the PBA teams from conducting, at the very least, practices in small groups.
But the PBA has been aggressive of late in gaining the green light for its season.
The PBA has appealed to the government to give the league the go-signal to play its season under a closed-circuit format once the number of COVID-19 cases drop. Batangas City has also agreed to be the host of the team’s practices following a meeting with local government officials.
Even NLEX is also looking at restarting practices again, eyeing Ilocos Norte, Subic, and Clark as possible venue.
Guiao warned another delay will put the league in a very difficult situation.
“When that happens, we have very little room for mistakes. The crucial date is May 15 and the crucial decision is that are they going to allow us to (conduct) full practice on May 15,” said Guiao.
Guiao also believes the PBA is no longer capable to hold another bubble season due to financial reasons.
“Closed circuit na lang tingin ko. ‘Yung bubble, it’s almost impossible especially logistics-wise. I don’t think kakayanin pa ng PBA ‘yung gastos. Secondary na lang ‘yung mental issues,” he said.