As PBA teams eye their respective return to practice sessions, several players think it would only take a month for them to get back in game shape and hopefully resume with the Philippine Cup.
Rain or Shine’s veteran center Beau Belga said their return to training would allow players to do things to get their timing back.
“Lahat naman ng players tingin ko nasa kondisyon, pero iba siyempre yung maibabalik mo yung timing mo sa laro, kaya yun ang hahabulin -- yung game shape,” said Belga in an interview with Manila Bulletin.
“Tingin ko naman kaya ng isang buwan na maibalik yung game shape. Ako nakakapag-shooting, pero may iba din na hindi. Kaya pag nakabalik sa ensayo, doon lang talaga magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na gawin yung ginagawang regular sa ensayo,” he added.
Paul Lee of Magnolia Hotshots shared the same sentiment, knowing that getting in shape should not be hard considering all PBA players have been working out despite the long layoff.
For instance, Lee has been active the past three months to get back in shape by incorporating his workout with basketball drills – from shooting to dribbling and he is excited to return to practice.
“Ako kasi hindi lang workout ginawa ko, parang pinag-combine ko – may weights tapos may skills development. Kaya pag dating sa ensayo, tingin ko mas ready ako na maglaro,” said Lee.
“Pero tingin ko maski yung ibang players na hindi na nakakapag-shooting, hindi naman matagal para ma-recover mo yun. Tingin ko din kaya naman isang buwan,” he added.
Blackwater’s KG Canaleta said that while resumption of training would allow players to regain their form, playing the game is still the best way to get back to game shape.
The former five-time Slam Dunk champion even pointed to the NBA players when they restarted the season with sloppy plays during the first couple of games inside the ‘bubble.'
“Sa tingin ko sa tagal ko na din nag-lalaro, sa laro mo lang din makukuha yung timing e,” said Canaleta.
“Sila nga sa NBA nung nag-start, maski naka-ensayo na sila ng ilang weeks, yung linaro pa din puro turovers, bad shooting. Pero habang tumagal, nakabalik na yung players sa timing, sa game shape,” he said.
PBA players from the 12 teams either had or are set to have their swab test in preparation for the PBA return to practice session as allowed by the government under the Joint Administrative Order (JAO).
The guideline of JAO – composed of Games and Amusements Board (GAB), the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Department of Health (DOH) – was signed July 27 by their respective heads, chairmen Baham Mitra and Butch Ramirez for GAB and PSC, and secretary Francisco Duque III for DOH.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said that after the swab testing, they still have to wait for results – three days the most – before they can give teams the green light to start practice sessions.
READ: 14-day quarantine for players, coaches who will test positive for COVID-19, says Commissioner Marcial
“Ang target to start is August 25, pero titignan muna namin – sana lang walang aberya,” said Marcial, who hopes for negative results on all the players and coaches set to return.
The PBA's 45th season opened last March 8, but after just one game, Marcial decided to postpone the matches, as well as the practice sessions because of COVID-19 outbreak.