THE PBA is adopting a faster pace in which to finish its Philippine Cup.
Commissioner Willie Marcial yesterday said one of the options he is looking at is to hold games four to five times a week, with tripleheaders thrown in for good measure.
“Kasama sa mga kino-consider namin iyon, para mapadali tayo,” said Marcial.
“That way, puwede tayong mag-umpisa ng games as early as Oct. 9 at matapos tayo ng Dec. 10 or 15,” added Marcial, who had earlier hoped for a mid-October resumption and late January finish for the tournament.
“Kasama pa rin sa alternatives iyon,” explained Marcial. “Pero kung kayang mag-umpisa ng mas maaga, mas maganda, di ba? Para mapag-laanan din kung anumang delay na mangyari.”
Those plans, hatched in the face of the lingering coronavirus threat, depend on whether the PBA gets the necessary approval from the government.
“Nakasalalay lahat kung papayagan tayo. Sana,” said Marcial, who added he plans to make a request to the IATF, through a letter he plans to send his week, to allow teams to conduct full scrimmages.
Once given the go-signal, Marcial said the Philippine Cup games could resume shortly thereafter.
“Depende lahat iyan sa sagot ng IATF, kung papayagan tayo,” said Marcial. “Kung payagan tayo na mag-full scrimmages, mga dalawa hanggang tatlong linggo lang iyon and we could play games, hopefully, ng Oct. 9 ang pinakamaaga.”
Three weeks of workouts in practice gyms and three more weeks of scrimmages with teammates should be enough for the players, according to Marcial.
“Alam naman nating hindi nagpabaya ang mga players during the lockdown. On their own nag-wo-workout di ang mga iyan so parang ginigising mo lang muscle memory nila,” said Marcial.
PBA teams have started workouts and conditioning in alternating compact groups since Aug. 25 and Marcial expressed satisfaction with the way that process has gone so far.
“So far so good,” said Marcial. “May mga inspection teams tayo at ang GAB na nag-su-surprise visits sa mga practice gyms pero iyung mga teams mismo pino-police sariling ranggo nila.”