TNT KaTropa remain focused on staying physically and mentally fit

For TNT active coaching consultant Mark Dickel, the KaTropa are in a wait-and-see mode since there are no clear steps yet once the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is lifted.

Dickel said that members of the team continue to communicate with each other, whether through text, instant messaging service Viber, or video conferencing app Zoom.

"For the most part, you've just got to hope that [the players] are all staying fit, mentally healthy, and taken care of themselves. I just just hope that sooner or later we get a chance to start practicing and then hopefully start playing," said Dickel.

Unlike the NBA who will be allowing teams in states that have eased stay-at-home orders, the ECQ is still implemented over Metro Manila, casting uncertainty on the PBA's return.

Players, though, have already taken personal measures to keep themselves fit.

According to long-time forward Kelly Williams, who is a notorious gym rat, the prospect of staying put is not an option for him.

"I don't think I could psychologically sustain myself without some degree of working out, albeit with very reduced resources," Williams said. "I've kept things afloat with exercises that involve a couple dumbbells, a medicine ball and a mat, mixed with body weight exercises, jump rope, jog/sprints, and ball handling."

Dickel also mentioned that the team made sure that its players are aware of preventive measures for themselves and their families.

Williams, who has had health issues in the past, shared how he has been adjusting to the ordeal.

"I admit that I was initially skeptical to the point of doubt about the virus in its early stages. Then as it progressed I viewed it from the other side of the spectrum to the point of hypochondria. For almost two years, I've been of the medication that caused my weakened immune system," explained Williams.

"So, nowadays, my immune response is more or less normal. That being said, I'm practicing the recommended precautions of social distancing and continuing the lifelong lessons in hygiene."

Even if the ECQ is lifted and the PBA decides to resume play, Dickel said all the teams will have to go back to square one after a long layoff.

"It's gonna take a while to get used to playing it, like the key will be how can we get everybody healthy and fit? Ready to go?"

Dickel, who is also the interim Gilas Pilipinas head coach, revealed that he is in constant communication with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas regarding the postponement of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.

"Until we have some certainty [on the coronavirus]. I mean, everything's postponed. So it's hard to make plans when you don't know what day you're going to be there."