TWO veteran Philippine Super Liga coaches have advised PSL management to exercise caution in their bid to resume the actual training of players and the league as well.
“Honestly, why risk the health of our players? What is the difference of opening now and doing it later in the year like November or December?” said PLDT mentor Roger Gorayeb. “Medyo risky pa talaga. Let’s take it slow and not rush things.”
Petron mentor Emil Lontoc agreed with Gorayeb, saying: “I share the same sentiment as coach Roger. We can postpone the resumption of the actual training of our players given the present situation we are facing.”
The eight-team PSL Grand Prix had barely begun in February when the tournament was suspended in mid-March after authorities locked down the country to limit the spread of the highly-contagious and deadly novel coronavirus.
PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico has been among those pushing for the resumption of the actual workouts of the players, earlier joining hands with the Philippine Basketball Association, Philippine Football Federation and seven National Sports Associations in the effort.
The Inter-Agency Task Force has given the go-signal for the PBA and PFF, which organizes the Philippines Football League, to allow their pro players, who have to first undergo polymerase chain reaction tests for the COVID-19 virus, to train while the rest continue to wait for the green light.
“Opening early like September would still be too early. Medyo alanganin,” noted Gorayeb, who is in remission after suffering from multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, late last year. “And where will we train as of now?
“Saang gym kami makakapunta ngayon? Hindi lang naman kami ang pupunta duon at kung saan-saan pa kami manggagaling. There will be too much risk and exposure (to the virus). That’s why I suggest that we delay ng kaunti. Ang hirap kung madalas mag-tetest (for COVID-19). Masyadong magastos.”
Gorayeb, who has been content in giving online fitness and physical conditioning workouts to his players, added that given the long layoff “it will take my players at least two months to get back into fighting shape.”
Lontoc, who took over as Petron head coach at the start of the PSL Grand Prix, has also been conducting virtual workout sessions with his team, although he is keen on getting his wards back to the gym.