PBA: Guiao confident NLEX players stayed in shape during lockdown

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2020 12:09 PM

PBA: Guiao confident NLEX players stayed in shape during lockdown 1
NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines -- The PBA is in the midst of a five-month break brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic, but NLEX coach Yeng Guiao is confident that his players have maintained their conditioning and physical fitness.

The Road Warriors have yet to play a game in the PBA's 45th season, along with nine other teams.

They were all set to play on the evening of March 11 against the NorthPort Batang Pier, in what would have been a rematch of their thrilling quarterfinals series in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup. In the morning of that day, however, the Board of Governors announced that they were putting all league activities on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Ang hirap maghanap ng silver lining, although of course there is," Guiao said during an appearance on "Power and Play" with former PBA commissioner Noli Eala over the weekend.

"No. 1, siguro, is 'yung rest. I think that rest is good, it's a prolonged rest," he added.

Nonetheless, Guiao acknowledged that the extended break will hamper the PBA players from staying in shape.

Because of strict quarantine protocols, teams have not been allowed to train together for months now. Gyms and fitness centers are closed, depriving the players of a venue to work out. While some players have their own gyms or even courts at home, not everyone has access to those facilities.

According to Guiao, several of the Road Warriors had to buy their own gym equipment such as dumbbells and bands in order to work out at home.

"I think the good thing here is, makikita mo 'yung disiplina," said Guiao.

The NLEX coaching staff monitors their players even with the lockdown, and Guiao is pleased to see that the Road Warriors, for the most part, remained fit.

"Tinitingnan ko ang mga players ko, nakikita ko naman sila. Kung meron mang tumaba, siguro tumaba lang sila by three or four pounds, malaki na 'yung five pounds," he told Eala.

"So, if you stop for five months, and you're only overweight by four or five pounds, I think that's a very good indication that these guys are taking care of themselves," he added. "Kasi mapapakain ka talaga eh. At saka kung wala kang ginagawa, talagang tataba ka."

"I think is a good thing, that these players are disciplined enough to take care of themselves."

At the moment, the PBA is waiting for quarantine restrictions to ease again before they can return to small group practices.

The league, along with the Philippines Football League and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3, previously received the go-signal to resume training sessions. However, their return was halted when President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila and nearby provinces under modified enhanced community quarantine once more.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).