IF there is one team glad for the PBA’s decision to put its Philippine Cup games on hold, it’s Phoenix Super LPG.
According to coach Louie Alas, the break is much-needed by the Fuel Masters, who now have more time to recover from the injuries that have plagued them in the off-season.
“Kung iyung one week na na-push back iyung opening malaking tulong na, lalo pa ngayon na indefinite iyung suspension ng games,” Alas told Malaya-Business Insight.
“The more na mag-drag on itong suspension lalong mas merong recovery time iyung mga players at iikli rin iyung waiting time namin for their return to action,” added Alas.
The PBA’s decision to indefinitely suspend all its games and activities was announced last Wednesday, spurred by the league wanting to do its part in helping prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and, at the same time, protect its players, fans and league personnel from the deadly disease.
The pro league said the suspension would be lifted once the danger from the virus has clearly passed, something which seems distant since the disease has so far continued spreading.
A community quarantine is currently in effect in Metro Manila, where most of the games are played and all the teams are based.
As an additional move and prompted by the latest government move that limits movement within the Metro, the PBA has told all its teams to suspend their practices until March 27.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said a memo has been sent to all 12 teams to postpone practices last Friday.
“Yes, nag-memo na kami no practices for two weeks,” Marcial said in a text message.
Reports had earlier said that Magnolia and NorthPort practiced behind closed doors after the initial PBA move while teams such as San Miguel Beer, Alaska, Phoenix, and Blackwater have already suspended training sessions.
The government’s order for a veritable lockdown lasts only a month and Alas hopes most of his players would be ready to suit up when the PBA resumes.
The Fuel Masters only had 10 warm bodies in what should have been their season debut against TNT later last Wednesday as JR Reyes and RR Garcia were gametime decisions then.
Jake Pascual and Dave Marcelo also recently underwent surgeries for a torn ACL and bone spurs, respectively, with the former out for the entire season and the latter expected back late in the Philippine Cup.