Playoff basketball

As two-conference format looms, Guiao bats for more best-of-7s

By: Cedelf P. Tupas - Inquirer.net | April 09,2020 - 09:04 AM

The Philippine Basketball Association has announced a shortened 45th season when it resumes on June 1 at the earliest, and NLEX coach Yeng Guiao expressed support while throwing in his two cents’ worth to make it worth it for the teams and most especially, the fans.

Guiao suggested that the league could perhaps tweak its format for more playoff games in the Philippine Cup—the conference the PBA will save when push comes to shove, as in playing just one tournament should the lockdown is extended again—by making the semifinals best-of-seven affairs instead of the usual race-to-three format.

Longer playoff battles mean more intense action.

“We have very limited options,” Guiao said, a day after PBA commissioner Willie Marcial came out of a conference call meeting with the board of governors and arrived at the decision to scrap one of two import-flavored conferences scheduled for the year.

The PBA can resume only on June 1 at the earliest because, if the lockdown is lifted on April 30, Marcial said he is inclined to give all the teams one full month to practice so as to avoid players from being injured.

The lockdown also prohibits teams from practicing.

Only one game was played after the league opened its season, with San Miguel Beer, the five-time defending champion, winning over Magnolia, 94-78, on opening night.

Guiao said his Road Warriors were raring to get their campaign going only for the Luzon-wide lockdown to be imposed. NLEX was supposed to play NorthPort on March 11, the day the league announced that it was suspending the Philippine Cup.

“The only thing we can do now is to get as much of the shape that we have gotten right before the season. The coaching staff assigned workouts that the players can do at home so when we get back, it won’t be difficult to catch up in terms of our fitness and conditioning.”

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