Coaches show support for PBA’s decision to shorten season
MANILA, Philippines—A couple of coaches showed their support for the PBA’s decision to shorten its season due to the effects of COVID-19.
The league is still suspended due to the enhanced community quarantine, which was implemented to curb the effects of COVID-19, thus prompting the Board of Governors to decide to shorten the season.
Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said getting to normal life after the virus may take a long time, so the decision of the Board was “on point.”
“I think the governors’ assessment and decision are right on point,” said Cone in a report from the league’s official website. “It seems we still have ways to go before we get a chance to play again.”
“We’ll have to figure out what is the new normal and how we can get the league back on track,” he added.
Cone was the last coach to hoist a championship trophy after the Gin Kings won last season’s Governors’ Cup and he said that getting to play again will have the same satisfaction as holding another title.
“I’ll be extremely happy if we can get in two conferences this year,” said the 22-time champion and two-time Grand Slam winner. “Just playing again will be like winning a championship for all of us.”
TNT consultant Mark Dickel said playing the games are still the ultimate goal, but prioritizing everyone’s health is imperative.
“Whenever the games start again, it will be great,” said Dickel. “But ultimately it has to be safe for everyone. Whatever the PBA decides regarding conferences is fine by me.”
Commissioner Willie Marcial and Chairman Ricky Vargas led a conference call on Tuesday wherein the governors assessed the situation and plot the league’s next move regarding the resumption of the season, especially with the national government extending the ECQ to April 30 instead of its initial end on April 12.
Marcial said that the league is leaning towards a two-conference season instead of having three.
A single-conference format might be implemented if the health crisis still abounds.
“We still don’t know until when this will last,” said Marcial in Filipino. “If the government clears everything by April 30 and the ban on public gatherings is lifted, then practice can start once again.”
“If we can resume play by June then we’ll have two conferences. If the health crisis lasts until, let’s say August, then we can resume practices by then, but the season will, maybe, just be one conference,” added Marcial.