Not everybody sold on PBA return

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    EVERYBODY in the PBA wants nothing more than to get back on the basketball court and play after a very long hiatus forced by the coronavirus pandemic.

    But having a proven and effective vaccine for the virus would be best for everybody concerned since only then would everybody’s apprehensions would be greatly lessened once the games resume.

    TNT coach Bong Ravena pointed this out, saying proposed safety protocols to be implemented by the league once practices start would not completely guarantee a 100 percent defense against the contagion.

    “There is always that risk, especially sa sport na ito na contact is unavoidable,” Ravena told Malaya-Business Insight.

    “You may follow all the guidelines, the safety rules, the regular testing. Pero mayroon lagi diyang X-factor involved. Puwede ka pa ring mahawahan kaya hindi ka fully at ease. Nandiyan pa rin iyung worry,” added Ravena.

    “The only time na magiging totally at ease iyung mind mo, once na meron ng vaccine and from what I gathered that’s still a long way off.”

    Ravena spoke up after the PBA wrote the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease last Friday, outlining the strict safety measures that would be implemented once the pro league’s request for the resumption of partial team practices are granted by the IATF-EID.

    The practices would first be limited to small groups of four players under the supervision of a coach and a health officer at any given time.

    In announcing the safety measures, Commissioner Willie Marcial said he is hoping the IATF-EID would act favorably on the request so teams could return to the practice gyms by July.

    The PBA suspended all activities since March 11 and Marcial had previously said the league is looking at the possibility of playing just the Philippine Cup from September and scrapping the Commissioner’s Cup and Governors Cup altogether.

    Ravena is not the only one daunted by the COVID-19 threat.

    Even San Miguel Beer guard Chris Ross is not entirely sold on the idea of returning to court training so soon with no sure cure for the virus yet.

    “Risking personal and family safety so that we can train now for games that won’t start until earliest September?!? What’s the rush? No advancement scientifically for the virus,” Ross posted on Twitter.

    Ross, however, believes the PBA is sure to have the players’ and their families’ well-being in mind before resuming activity.

    “I know boss Willie (Marcial) and the governors have our and our family’s safety at the top of the list when discussing this and will make the best decision for everyone involved,” Ross said.

    Ravena has the same positive thoughts. “Alam ko naman pinag-aaralan lahat ng liga, lalo pa nila Comm what’s best,” he said.

    “Pero sana madiskubre na iyung vaccine sooner than later para everybody can concentrate on basketball once the practices, then the games resume.”

    Ravena and the rest of the KaTropa are set to undergo testing for the virus, a prerequisite set forth by the PBA, sometime this week after their sister teams Meralco and NLEX did so last week.