THE PBA is seriously considering all options to salvage the Philippine Cup, including a stark departure from its usual norm.
That is an area where NLEX coach Yeng Guiao is all too willing to chip in his two cents’ worth.
The PBA is on the verge of missing its mid-October target date for its resumption due to the numerous delays mainly brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said one alternative he and his staff are seriously considering is a change in format where there would be four playing dates a week in lieu of the usual three so the tournament could be wrapped up by late January.
“Kapag apat na araw tayong naglaro, labing-anim na laro isang buwan, mahahabol natin iyung schedule, ‘yung timeline na matapos tayo by the third week of January,” Marcial had said in a recent interview.
Guiao, who served as commissioner of the now defunct PBL from 1997-99, wants to tweak that option further, based on the premise that all 12 PBA teams are willing to work triple time each week.
“Actually, ‘yung mid-October resumption kayang tapusin before Christmas. For each team, we can play three times a week,” the veteran tactician told Malaya-Business Insight.
“Kasi wala ka namang ibang gagawin,” added Guiao. “And ‘yung mga teams, mga players, talagang eager ng maglaro after almost six months of inaction.”
Guiao also said disrupting television coveror TV5’s schedule should not pose much of a problem. “Sa ngayon kasi wala namang content ‘yung TV coveror mo. Eh di ipalabas mo araw-araw ang PBA.”
Currently, Metro Manila is under MECQ, which is expected to be lifted and eased up into a more relaxed MGCQ or GCQ level after tomorrow.
That means the long-awaited return to the practice gym for the players for conditioning and workouts could commence by the last week of this month. But not after all the players have gone through the mandated swab tests scheduled later this week at the earliest.
Getting the players back into game-shape, which could only be done once the government allows sports-related gatherings of at least 10 persons, should also be a short process for Guiao.
“Ang tingin ko, it will not take that long kasi ang mga players they’ve been working out. So hindi ka mag-uumpisa from scratch or from zero,” he said.
“Individually, they’re all working out, they’re all trying to get their workouts,” added Guiao.
“Siyempre, iba pa rin ‘yung nasa court ka, meron kang ibang equipment. Kasi kung nasa bahay ka limited equipment mo.
“I think ‘yung objective ni Commissioner na mag-start ng October, umpisa tayo ng within August that would be enough.”