PBA plays extended waiting game

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    WHILE attending to other, more pressing concerns, the government is making the PBA play another extended waiting game before replying to the pro league’s letter of request to be allowed to do scrimmages.

    The PBA has expected just that and is ready to adjust accordingly.

    “Sumusunod lang tayo sa gobyerno kaya wala tayong magagawa kundi maghintay,” said Commissioner Willie Marcial.

    “Pero handa naman tayo sa ganitong sitwasyon,” he added. “Kaya nga isang option natin ‘yung i-adjust ‘yung timetable.”

    Since being allowed by the IATF to do non-contact workouts last Aug. 25, the PBA had wanted to begin doing full team scrimmages this week and wrote a letter of request to the government agency two Mondays ago.

    The PBA had to wait about a month before getting the green light to do the players’ workouts, which had been limited to four players, a trainer and a safety officer per session.

    Marcial had hoped to present a positive reply to the league governors in their special meeting yesterday, but as the team representatives started their lunchtime assembly no word has come yet.

    “Mag-mi-meeting pa sila (IATF),” was all Marcial offered for an update.

    “Baka ikina-calendar lang,” noted one league governor. “Pero confident pa rin kami dahil maganda naman takbo lahat ng workouts at conditioning namin. Walang nag-po-positive, binibisita ng GAB at may mga videos pa,” added the long-time team representative.

    “So that should be a factor para makakuha tayo ng positive response.”

    The PBA had been eyeing to restart its Philippine Cup, forced into a lockdown by the COVID-19 outbreak since March 11, by Oct. 9 and finish by the second week of December.

    The delay is understandable since the COVID-19 infections remain at an alarming rate, putting a lot of pressure on the government agency tasked with coming up with policies in dealing with the pandemic.

    Should the wait drag on longer an early October resumption for the PBA seems an improbable target. But Marcial, in an earlier interview, said the PBA can afford to wait even if it entails altering some of its plans.

    “Kung matagalan ang go-signal, p’wede naman tayong mag-adjust ng schedule,” Marcial has said.

    “Iyun nga lang, sana naman hindi masyadong matagal para hindi tayo abutin ng Pasko. Madadagdagan concerns natin n’yan, lalo na sa mental health ng mga players.”