By Jonas Terrado
A different vibe is something NLEX center Asi Taulava is expecting to see once PBA games resume.
While the excitement of getting back on the hardcourt will be felt, Taulava also hopes the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will prompt players to act cautiously.
“I think the guys are gonna be excited to be around with their teammates, but it’s gonna be different,” Taulava said when he joined San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo, Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga, TNT KaTropa’s Poy Erram and Magnolia’s Marc Pingris in a PBA-produced teleconference titled “Kamustahan.”
“We can’t do the certain things that we used to do in the past; some of the horse-playing that we used to do. Everybody’s gonna be a little bit cautious,” added Taulava.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, who also joined the online discussion, had earlier said the league will wait until August to decide on the fate of the 45th season was put on hold after just one game.
Marcial also maintained his reservations of staging closed-door games since it may put at risk the health not only of the players, coaches and officials but the league’s workforce as well.
The PBA is still prohibited from holding games despite Metro Manila having been placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, a notch lower than its previous status.
The government is only allowing non-contact sports like golf and tennis and outside activities like running and cycling under the current guidelines.
PBA games are also banned under a General Community Quarantine despite being a less-stringent regulation compared to MECQ.
For Taulava, getting back to normalcy will have to be done gradually.
“It’s gonna take time,” he said. “But then again, when things start to calm down and the virus gets under control, I think we become our regular selves. But right now, it’s gonna take time.”
Though he echoed Taulava’s sentiments, Belga is also raring to see the PBA return.
“Hindi pwede na after nitong pandemic na magiging isang buhos lang, back to normal na. Hindi siguro ganun,” said Belga.
“Siguro paunti-unti. Kasi ang basketbol kahit saan mo ilagay nasa Pinoy na yan e, and they’re really excited na makabalik ang PBA,” he added. “Ako gusto ko na rin talaga makabalik, kahit man lang magpapawis kasama mga teammates.”