Sports Eye

The season needs a champ

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

DESPITE the relentless surge of the dreaded COVID-19 around the globe especially in the United States which is the most affected country given its number of deaths and cases today, Uncle Sam’s third most attended sport, the NBA, finally decided to resume its remaining games since its pause last March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was after the final meeting of the Board of Governors and National Basketball Players Association on June 4 when the management finalized a comprehensive arrangement for a July 31 (PH time) resumption.

They agreed that the games will only be played at a single-site campus, the world-famous Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida at Wide World Sports Complex. So, the nine teams from the Eastern Conference led by defending champion Toronto Raptors and 13 squads from the Western Conference led by the conference leader, Los Angeles Lakers, returned to battle with each other for the right to enter the start of the playoffs on August 18. It also called for stringent health and safety protocols to be seriously followed. Government officials, public health experts and infectious disease specialists have been called to prevent the spread and monitor regular testing set of rules during the competitions.

I guess what will happen to the PBA that went on hiatus also due to the pandemic would be different. The new league commissioner, Willie Marcial, who recently received a three-year extension of his post, earned the confidence of the league’s Board of Governors to restart the PBA’s 45th season skirmishes tentatively sometime in the middle of October. But with the sudden declaration of MECQ status of Manila metropolis by the IATF, Marcial says he is not ruling out the possibility of rescheduling anew the comeback of PBA hostilities. If the situation gets worse, the Board of Governors will have to decide whether to restart the games on another month or just cancel the season outright. I agree. “It’s better to be safe than sorry,” as the saying goes. So let’s just wait and see.

On the local side, my source in the provincial sports office says Deputy Executive Officer Marlon Domalanta and Henry Escleto, the 4th Governor’s Cup Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament of Gov. Amado “Pogi” Espino, III prepared a plan to resume the tournament with strict rules to be enforced by the Pangasinan Sports Development and Management Council (PSDMC) headed by Modesto Operania. Among agreements reached include 1) All the teams that remain in the two conferences headed by defending champion Urdaneta City in the Eastern Conference side and Western Conference leader Anda, must agree to follow the stringent health protocols to ensure the safety of all concerned during the clashes.  2) The Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) will be the lone venue from the resumption of the games up to the best-of-three championship matches as well as the team practices and scrimmages. 3) All players, staff, will be billeted at the NRSCC dormitory for the duration of the of tournament for at least two weeks. And no one will be to allowed to leave the compound unless it is for an emergency matter. 4) Everyone entering the court must wear face masks, face shield and social distancing will also be strictly enforced, but of course, not during the playing time for players and its coaches.

Obviously, the objective of the three leagues decision to resume their own games amid the pandemic is to have a champ declared in their respective conferences.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 2 JOHN 1:9

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