By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
WHILE they are excited over possibly getting back to action beginning next month, the Terra Firma Dyip recognize that being in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) “bubble” will be a challenge and, thus, the need for them to be on the same page to succeed.
One of the guests on The Chasedown television show on Saturday, Terra Firma coach Johnedel Cardel shared that their team is excited for the resumption of the currently suspended PBA season, but mindful that once they enter the bubble, sacrifices in time and effort have to be made by everyone of them.
“The players are excited to get back to play and bring excitement to the fans after some months of not being able to,” said Mr. Cardel, coach of Terra Firma (formerly Columbian Dyip) since 2018.
“It’s going to be a challenge heading into the bubble, so everybody has to make a sacrifice. In there, the league will be very strict and the players will not be able to do everything they want. But I have talked to my players and I think they are ready,” he added.
The PBA is targeting to resume its Season 45 on Oct. 9 in a bubble setting at Clark City in Angeles, Pampanga.
Under the bubble setup, which is similar to that employed in the National Basketball Association, players, coaches, and staff of the teams and the league will be holed up in one location for the duration of the tournament and will be shuttled to and from the hotel and the playing venue.
Games will be played at the Angeles University Foundation while the teams will be staying in the nearby Quest Hotel.
The league is just awaiting approval to proceed from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Once it gets the approval, the league will have the teams start doing scrimmages in preparation for the restart.
Mr. Cardel said they have been preparing the best way they can within the past few weeks since some activities were allowed back, but admitted they are angling to do more.
“To be honest, it’s still hard to tell where we are at this point of our preparation because what we are doing right now are group practices, and the same goes for all the teams. So we’re still looking for our timing as a team, but we’re happy that after some months we got together finally to train. So we’re making the most of it and I told the players that we have to work hard despite the situation,” Mr. Cardel said.
He went on to say that come the bubble his players would struggle early on, but once action steadies, he expects them to be in the swing of things.
“Everybody should be committed to our campaign and be ready, from the top all the way to the 15th player,” the Terra Firma coach said.
Leading the Dyip is reigning rookie of the year CJ Perez, joined by the likes of Rashawn McCarthy, Juami Tiongson, Aldrech Ramos, Glenn Khobuntin, Andres Cahilig, Eric Camson, JP Calvo, and Reden Celda.
Also joining the team are rookies Roosevelt Adams and Bonbon Batiller.
Last season, the Dyip compiled an overall record of 11-22.