Mendoza: Marcial move commendable

Al Mendoza

COMMISSIONER Adam Silver of the National Basketball Association (NBA) immediately suspended the NBA games the minute All-Star Rudy Gobert was found positive of Covid-19.

No dilly-dallying.

No second thought.

No teka-teka.

That’s what you call quick response protocol. Leadership to the core. Silver deserves a gold medal for valor.

That can also be said of commissioner Willie Marcial of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Almost immediately after President Duterte declared a “community quarantine” beginning Friday in Metro Manila—meaning, the metropolis is practically off-limits to outsiders—Marcial ordered all PBA teams to stop practicing.

In a memorandum he issued before nightfall of Friday, Marcial stopped all 12 PBA squads from practicing, scrimmaging and engaging in related activities effective on Saturday, March 14.

The decree all but killed all idiotic nonsense about some PBA team top officials reportedly still insisting on holding practices amid the worrisome scare on the virus wreaking havoc to mankind.

With Marcial earlier suspending the PBA games starting on Wednesday, the second playing day of the 45th season, what is there to practice about in the first place?

Yet, some officials from some teams still seriously considered continuing their scheduled team practices.

But hat’s off to teams like Meralco, Blackwater, Phoenix, Alaska and San Miguel Beer. They suspended their practices ahead of Marcial’s announcement.

But Marcial, being the team man that he is, did not do it all by himself.

“The suspension of practices was an idea by PBA chairman Vargas, vice chairman Rosales and pushed by San Miguel team governor Chua,” said Marcial. “It was to protect our athletes and the entire PBA family, to include the fans, of course.”

Indeed, the move is truly commendable even as I believe the PBA continues to pray for Gobert’s safety—is Utah’s Donovan Mitchell also virus positive?—and the NBA as well.

It’s during a crisis that teamwork is most needed—unquestionably.