PBA teams raring to play again

Published May 3, 2021, 9:50 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel assistant coach Richard del Rosario thinks the waiting game surrounding the start of the PBA season is making it stressful for players and coaches who are raring to get back on the hardcourt.

“To be honest with you, mas stressful nga itong nangyayari na di pa tayo nagsisimula because of the uncertainty. Mas stressful yung di mo alam mangyayari,” Del Rosario said in the 2OT podcast that aired Saturday, May 1.

(To be honest, the current situation is more stressful because of the uncertainty.)

Del Rosario expressed this belief as the PBA continues to find ways for the 46th season to tip off amid the current COVID-19 situation where cases rose to an average of at least 8,000 per day since mid-March.

Adding to the dilemma is that the government told PBA officials in a meeting last week at Malacanang that the season won’t start under a closed-circuit concept unless there’s a downward trend in positive cases.

Accepting the offer of holding a bubble in Ilocos Norte is being considered as a last resort since the league continues to have reservations on the financial and mental aspect of having the same arrangement as last season’s Philippine Cup in Pampanga.

But Del Rosario, who proposed the bubble idea during the early weeks of the pandemic last year, feels such conditions will give everyone within the PBA family a sense of comfort.

“Nung nasa bubble ka alam mo mangyayari e. Araw-araw may laro, araw-araw alam mong mag-eensayo ka, araw-araw may schedule ka. Alam mong tuloy yung laro, alam mong may PBA,” Del Rosario said.

(You know what’s going to happen when you are in a bubble. Everyday you have a game, everyday you’ll train and every day you have a schedule. You know that games will continue and you know that there’s the PBA.)

“So kahit na mahirap dahil malayo ka sa pamilya mo e sigurado ka naman na maglalaro kayo, may trabaho ka at this point. And because di pa tayo naglalaro, ang damong uncertainties at yun ang nakakastress for the players and coaches na kailan ba tayo maglalaro at kung matutuloy ba yung PBA.

(Even if being in a bubble is tough because you’re away from your families, you know that you’ll play and you have a job at this point. And because we still can’t play, there’s a lot of uncertainties which makes it stressful for the players and coaches because they’re asking if the PBA will return.)

“So for example, pag tumagal pa to at hindi pa tayo makakapaglaro, papaano ngayon yung kabuhayan natin. Marami rin akong nakakausap yun ang mga nagiging problema nila ngayon, that’s stressing them out,” added Del Rosario.

(For example, if this lingers on and we can’t play, what will happen with our livelihood. That’s a situation that is stressing out those who I’ve talked to.)

Tim Cone’s chief lieutenant did offer another suggestion to the league by having practices in Batangas City which is currently under General Community Quarantine as compared to the stricter Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine guidelines inside NCR Plus.

The PBA later got Del Rosario’s proposal to fruition when local officials from Batangas City agreed on allowing teams to practice inside the city pending the approval of protocols and other requirements.

“That’s why nagtutulong-tulong ang lahat to find a solution para nga makapagtuloy tayo,” said Del Rosario.