Despite extraordinary conditions, it’s so far, so good in PBA bubble
Understanding that no plan is perfect, the Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) chief assured that the league is ready to make on-the-fly adjustments even deep in its 45th Season reboot.
“I’m having my staff assess the current situation,” commissioner Willie Marcial told the Inquirer on Sunday. “So we’ll learn more soon.”
“Whatever eases the players, the coaches, and other delegates’ (hearts and minds) during the stay there, we’ll likely do it,” he added.
Of course, whatever those are, Marcial said they should be compliant with the health protocols set by the national government.
The bulk of the PBA delegation on Wednesday begun arriving at Clark Freeport, with teams now doing full contact scrimmages while intensifying their conditioning sessions in making the most out of a whirlwind window leading up to the tipoff on Oct. 11.
Comments on the bubble’s conditions have been relatively pleasant thus far, with players and coaches understanding that this is, in fact, an extraordinary time.
“Everything seems fine,” TNT’s new defensive anchor Poy Erram said. “Protocols are followed. Everyone’s strict here, and understandably so. We’re all for the PBA’s restart anyway.”
Jeff Cariaso, whose Alaska Aces arrived at Clark on Wednesday, said he was impressed with how organized both the “hotel and the league are in assuring (everyone’s) safety.”“We have a security escort, and travel (between the hotel and AUF) takes just about 15 minutes,” shared Barangay Ginebra deputy Richard del Rosario in Sunday’s episode of 2OT. “When it comes to schedules, it’s like clockwork.”
“You’ll have to be creative,” Del Rosario said in dealing with downtime. “Bring your books, take walks. You could also utilize your team’s time (in the pool). Also, there’s golf every Monday.”Delegates have been set up to a selection of meal merchants, should they opt for meals outside of the hotel’s offerings.
Marcial said he has been in touch with several athletes and has yet to hear of anything alarming.
“Actually they’re asking me if they could do vlogs,” he said with a chuckle. “I said yes, on the condition they’d observe distancing.”
“So far, everything sounds good,” said Marcial, who is set to enter the bubble a day before the compressed Philippine Cup unfurls.
“Also, tests have checked out negative. If anything, we’re just bracing for minor issues,” he added. INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.