PBA: Back to basics for SMC teams – sports director Alfrancis Chua

Published July 14, 2020, 4:08 PM

by Tito Talao

Practice to be more of conditioning, individual training
SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua, left, and Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone in file photo. (PBA Images)

It will be Fundamentals 101 all over again for players of the three ballclubs under the San Miguel Corporation banner once the PBA gets official nod from the Inter-Agency Task Force that team practice can proceed on specific dates.

The same, in all probability, holds true for the nine other PBA teams as soon as the “letter” from the IATF and Games and Amusements Board finds its way to the office of Commissioner Willie Marcial, thereby making an earlier verbal approval to hold clustered practice now black and white.

“More on conditioning siguro…shooting drills, dribbling, passing,” SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua told the Manila Bulletin Tuesday. “Since bawal pa ang 1-on-1 or 2-on-2, individual training malamang ang mangyayari. Para lang makuha ng kaunti uli yung basics.”

Practice, as before the COVID-19 lockdown, will be in different facilities – the San Miguel Beermen at Acropolis gym in Mandaluyong, the Barangay Ginebra Kings at Upper Deck in Ortigas, Pasig, and the Magnolia Hotshots at Ronac in Greenhills, San Juan, with four players allowed to spend an hour in the sanitized playing court with two team personnel – a coach and a health officer most likely.

Once their scheduled shift is over, the four players have to leave without tarrying and before their next four teammates take their turn.

“Halimbawa, 1 to-2 ung unang apat, tapos uwi na sila agad, sa bahay na sila maligo,” said Chua. “Di sila puwedeng magsalubong nong susunod na apat.”

The team personnel who would accompany each cluster of four, Chua said, would depend on the players’ needs as the head coach perceive them.

“I think magbabago ng kasama sa court ang players kasi iba ang magtuturo sa big men, iba naman ang magtuturo sa guards,” he said.

“Meron din coaches na gusto three hours sila sa practice, yung iba naman trainer lang.”

Whichever, Chua echoed the constant reminder of SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang to be “extra careful” and do whatever is necessary to ensure everybody’s safety.

“Sumunod lang sa protocols at huwag maging lenient pag dating sa safety measures. As much as possible, sabi namin, huwag silang magpahawa sa iba, magtiis muna, livelihood nila ‘to, trabaho, that’s why they have to take it seriously.

“Like the economy, we have to start somewhere, do something about it [stalled PBA season]. Kailangan lang extra ingat. Hopefully, maging okay naman.”