Coach Caloy Garcia admitted energy was high when Rain or Shine players finally got their turn to practice for the first time since the team last gathered together inside the court more than six months ago.
Eager and excited to be together again, Garcia noted that everybody was in a good mood and the atmosphere electric during Friday's practice at the Angeles University Foundation court in Angeles, Pampanga.
"Everyone's excited. And I think mostly it's because it's been a long while since we last played. Even if I was in their shoes, when I enter the court I'd be excited because finally, we get to see the players and practice as a team again," Garcia told ESPN5.
Conditioning-wise, Garcia said he was surprised to see everyone do well generally despite doing a lot of running for their first day of practice at the Clark Freeport Bubble.
"I was expecting that the players wouldn't be in good condition, but I was surprised because we ran a lot. And surprisingly, it was our three rookies, who suffered cramps later in practice," he said.
Garcia said the veteran players from the team gave rookies Prince Rivero, Adrian Wong and Arvin Tolentino a good ribbing for cramping in practice.
"We were able to do a lot of stuff (Friday). We had five-on-five and we had a good run, it's just that our three rookies suffered cramps, which we didn't expect," Garcia shared. "But nothing against the rookies. They're really working very hard."
Garcia said Friday was loaded with activities for the team, starting with the morning jogging, followed by weights, before the team practice from 5 to 7 in the evening.
James Yap, who is entering his 17th PBA season, seemed to be in good shape, according to Garcia.
But the Rain or Shine mentor said he's looking to manage Yap's time along with some of the team's veterans to make sure they won't burn out.
With just over a week to go before the PBA restart, Garcia expects his players to be at 80 percent game shape.
Overall, the Rain or Shine coach said he's happy with the effort the PBA has made to make the Clark Freeport bubble possible.
"So far, everything's been okay here. We can't complain about anything. The rooms are okay, and we have a gym here while you can also jog outside," he explained.
"The only sacrifice here is you left your family but inside the bubble, the PBA did a good job really."