Columbian coach: 'We hope we can play at least one conference'

The PBA season was cut short just days after the opening game between San Miguel Beermen and Magnolia due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The entire Luzon mainland has been placed under enhanced community quarantine since March 16, forcing players to find ways to keep in shape while staying at home. And it seems like it is a norm that will continue for several more weeks or even months.

For Columbian Dyip head coach Johnedel Cardel, there's nothing really much they can do about it.

"My players were a little disappointed because they were ready to compete, but the games got suspended," Cardel said in Filipino in a phone interview with ESPN5.

Some of his players have been able to work out and lift weights at home. Rookie of the year CJ Perez has been training in the province where the community quarantine is more relaxed.

While everything's in limbo, Cardel said he has been drawing up modified workout sessions in the event the government decides to allow the resumption of sports-related gatherings.

"I have been planning how our workouts will be after this. Maybe I will allow three groups per workout session. They will lift weights, do drills, among other things," he said.

However, even if the government decides downgrades to general community quarantine (GCQ) after May 15, PBA teams are still barred from practicing.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial had earlier stated that they are not ruling out the possibility of cancelling the entire season. Cardel, whose young team was heading into the season with so much upside, hopes it doesn't come to that.

"We hope we can play at least one conference," he said.

Cardel leaves that to the country's leaders as well as the PBA officials. Right now, the amiable mentor is just glad to see people spend more quality time with their family while also extending a hand to those gravely affected by the deadly virus.

"Now we see people spend more time with their loved ones. Now we see people help each other in these tough times," he said. "At least now we remember that there is a God we can turn to when things get difficult."