Champion coaches of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) basketball tournament last season explicitly expressed that they would place the safety of the student-athletes first over organizing any training camp that could possibly jeopardize their health especially during this COVID-19 pandemic-ravaged times.
Mike Reyes, head coach of the reigning Cesafi men’s basketball champions Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras, said the idea was initially broached by the school’s athletic director Pio Solon but the affable mentor was quick to shoot down the idea, saying there were just too many variables that could compromise the student-athletes’ health.
“Binabalak ni Coach Pio pero personally, bakit natin papahirapan sarili natin? Why would we put ourselves at risk in doing that? Ang daming risks. Ang hirap that the students will stay at Aznar Coliseum for two to three months (Coach Pio initially planned something like that but personally, why would we burden ourselves? Why would we put ourselves at risk in doing that? There are too many risks. It’s going to be difficult to have the student-athletes stay at the Aznar Coliseum for two to three months),” said Reyes who shared a piece of his mind regarding the matter on Bleacher Talk Cebu, which was hosted by sportsman Rico Navarro.
The subject remains the talk of the town following reports of an alleged basketball training camp that was attended by players of the University of Santo Tomas men’s basketball team in Sorsogon.
Reyes said sequestering players for a long period for training sessions is not only risky but also wholly unnecessary.
“It’s really a challenge but why would we put ourselves at risk? Unang una sa lahat is the safety of the players so bakit pa?” added Reyes.
Rommel Rasmo, the head coach of the reigning Cesafi high school champions SHS-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles concurred with Reyes’ sentiments, adding that it is just a risk not worth taking.
“Nakakatakot na yung buong team, dadalhin mo,” said Rasmo.
Ryan Betia, a Cebuano who is now spreading his wings in Manila as an assistant coach with Far Eastern University and the Blackwater Bossing in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) said he was surprised that a fellow UAAP school would pull off something like that.
“Why would they risk their players? If something were to happen to the players, they would first ask the school and then, the coach. Why would we risk it? When we learned of something like that, nagulat kami. In times like this, it’s the safety of the kids that we put as the priority,” said Betia. (JNP)