Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso pledges support for PBA staff

The postponement of the 45th season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) due to the COVID-19 outbreak has left the league's workforce without any viable means of income. With personnel not on the league's payroll left to fend for themselves during the ongoing government-imposed lockdown, members of the several PBA teams have now started a drive to help these individuals.

Alaska Aces head coach Jeffrey Caraiso went on Twitter earlier today to pledge donations on behalf of his team and its management to the non-regular league workers who get paid by the league on a per-game basis.

"To coincide with the PBA's initiative to support those people who are not regular employees, I am making a pledge to donate 100k to our hardworking PBA game day personnel who are severely affected by the cancellation/delay of our season," Cariaso's post read. "Those without monthly salaries are our statisticians, table officials, gate keepers, entertainment personnel (Blue Boys), and our parking and operations personnel."

Cariaso broke down the PhP100,000.00 pledge as PhP50,000.00 coming directly from the Alaska Aces organization, PhP25,000.00 from the personal funds of Team Governor Richard E. Bachmann and the remaining PhP25,000.00 out of his own pocket.

"These individuals are the hardworking people behind the scenes that allow players and teams to showcase what we do best," he continued. "They complete the platform and pave the way each and every play date.

"My goal is to make up for at least 2 months worth of wages for those individuals relying heavily on the games. If anyone would like to help out, kindly message me personally. God bless and stay safe everyone."

It wasn't long before two players followed Cariaso's lead. Meralco Bolts forward Cliff Hodge took to Twitter to make a pledge of his own.

"I will donate 20k to help in your cause coach," the eight-year veteran wrote. "Let me know also there is anything else I can do to help our PBA family."

San Miguel guard Chris Ross responded in the thread by tweeting, "I'll match!"

Around 15 personnel stand to benefit from the PBA personalities' generosity.

On March 11, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial announced the league was suspending play indefinitely due to the virus situation. Five days later, President Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon on an enhanced community quarantine until April 12. The government also banned mass gatherings and shut down most businesses in an effort to keep people off the streets to limit the spread of the virus.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, and those with more severe illness might take three to six weeks to recover.