Cebuanos Roger Pogoy, Paul Desiderio and Ron Dennison could not hide their elation upon learning of the news that the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) could soon be returning to action, albeit in a “bubble” setting that will be held at the Clark Freeport and Economic Zone in Pampanga.
If and when the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) gives the green light to the PBA, the league will restart the Philippine Cup on October 9 with games being held at the Angeles University Foundation gym.
Pogoy, the ace wingman of the TnT KaTropa, said that while his physical conditioning is still not at optimal level, he is ready to go get the games started.
“Lipay kaayo kay dugay najud mi wala nakaduwa. Excited nako mubalik na ang season (I’m very happy especially since it’s been such a long time since we last played. I’m excited to have the season restart),” said the pride of Talisay City. “Physically, naa na ko sa 7 siguro pero mentally 10 kay lami na kaayo iduwa (Physically, I’m at a 7 but mentally, I’m at 10 since I’m so thrilled to be playing once again).”
The league’s 45th season started back in March but after playing just one game, it suspended all games due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, with the IATF already allowing pro teams to return to practice, the PBA plans to resume its season and give local basketball fans something to be excited about.
Dennison, a two-guard for Blackwater who used to play for the University of the Visayas, said he was excited and also felt some pressure, owing to the fact that they haven’t played competitive ball in half a year.
“I’m excited pero na-pressure pud kay dugay baya mi wala ka duwa ug practice. Mao wala mi kahibaw unsa mahitabo ani sa dula (I feel excited and pressured especially since it’s been quite some time since we’ve been able to practice and play. So we really don’t know what the quality of our games would be like),” said Dennison.
Dennison, who was traded to Blackwater prior to the start of the season, said virtual training sessions with Cebuano trainer Roger Potot has kept him in peak condition. He also said that regardless of the circumstance, he understands that his job involves staying ready to play.
“Pag start nako ug conditioning ni coach Roger, adto na balik ako condition. Dako kaayo tabang karon sa akoa bisag sa practice ron namo 4 players lang. And amo ni job na to be ready always kung when ma balik and PBA. Pero dili pud dali kay lisod ang style karon sa PBA. Kaya need jud namo to be ready mentally ug physically (When I started conditioning with coach Roger, that’s when I really started to get my conditioning back. It’s a huge help especially when practice right now is limited to just four players. And it is our job to stay ready when the PBA comes back but it’s not easy. We just have to stay ready mentally and physically),” Dennison added.
Dennison’s teammate on Blackwater, Liloan-native Paul Desiderio, added that he’s been ready for months now and can’t wait to build on his promising rookie season.
“Mentally, I’ve been ready especially since even before the lockdown, I’ve been preparing very hard. Physically, it’s still different when you have regular practice sessions but I’m doing what I can to stay in shape. I do biking for cardio but it’s still way different from having scrimmages,” said Desiderio. (JNP)