Coaches understand UAAP move to suspend games due to virus scare
MANILA, Philippines—Several women’s volleyball team coaches showed solidarity with the UAAP after the league decided to postpone second-semester events due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
UAAP announced on Wednesday that it is postponing tournaments of volleyball, juniors’ basketball, football, baseball, softball, fencing, tennis, chess, juniors’ volleyball, and track and field after “thorough deliberation.”
Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro said he understands the league’s decision to put the events on hold.
“The most important thing is the safety of everybody, the players, the coaches, the fans, and the community,” said Almadro in Filipino on Wednesday.
The Lady Eagles, the defending women’s volleyball champions, were originally scheduled to play De La Salle on Feb. 16.
“We all know that the virus is no joke and it’s already reached our country,” said Almadro. “Let’s just pray that the virus scare will leave the country or that it will be totally wiped out so the excitement of the UAAP will be back.”
Kung Fu Reyes of University of Santo Tomas, George Pascua of Far Eastern University, and Godfrey Okumu of University of the Philippines shared the same sentiments with the safety of everyone being a priority.
“That’s okay because that is a national health issue,” said Reyes in Filipino. “Safety first.”
“For me, health should always be the priority of the UAAP,” said Pascua.
Okumu said he believes the cancellation of the events was done in good faith.
“I think and believe that it was done with the good intentions of preventing the spread of NCOV [novel corona virus],” said Okumu. “It is my sincere hope that all the participating teams will be in good health.”
As of Feb. 12, there have been 45,171 confirmed cases with 1,115 deaths according to the World Health Organization China, the origin of the virus, has 1,114 of the confirmed deaths.
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