When the Covid-19 pandemic suspended play early March, the Alaska Aces settled for Zoom workouts in order to stay in shape.
They had no other recourse but to conduct virtual sessions since face-to-face practice was not yet allowed.
Things had been dreadful, to say the least. Imagine the joy the Aces felt when they shared the parquet floor again on Friday for the team's first practice at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Angeles, Pampanga for the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup.
It was a practice six months in the making.
"First Aces practice was good. Such a good feeling to be back on the court with all the players present," Alaska head coach Jeff Cariaso told ESPN5.com in a text message. "Players seemed excited to be back together. Goal is set. Day 1 in the books and it was a good start in my opinion," the Alaska mentor said.
When asked about the players' conditioning, Cariaso sounded satisfied as well.
"I'm happy with it because they've been really diligent with our Zoom workouts. We're going to build on what we've established these past few months," Cariaso said.
With the players not able to play hoops for almost half a year, it is only understandable that they are still not in basketball shape. But they'll get there sooner than later, hopefully in time for the games starting October 11.
"They're in good shape but not yet in basketball shape," he said.