Aug 06, 2020

Uytengsu: Respect pandemic, treat it seriously

ALASKA Milk team owner Wilfred Uytengsu Jr. is convinced it is hard to go back to normal but there are ways to go through trying times and there are ways for PBA to get back on its feet.

He's one with everybody in the hope of restarting the season before the end of the year, but with all the necessary safety measures.

"The best scenario for the PBA is we play one conference," said Uytengsu in Tuesday's Sports Page on One Sports.

But he's not pushing for it just for the sake of being able to resume play.

He stressed it would require a lot.

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"What's happening is that people want some form of normalcy and there's been a tremendous push to try and restore that. The challenge is, is it safe?" said Uytengsu, concerned for the safety of everyone.

"Everyone wants to return back to normal, but the reality is that we will not go back to normal," he pointed out.

"People forget that after 9/11, the way we travel internationally and on airplanes changed significantly. You didn't have body searches, you didn't have x-ray machines, you didn't have to take off your shoes, you didn't have to be screened two or three times. Today when we travel, we don't really question it anymore."

Uytengsu said the PBA can take a look at the NBA and other major leagues abroad for pointers.

"Let's learn from some of the best sports franchises and organizations in the world and what they do, what they can do, what works, what doesn't work, and then let's see how we can adopt that in our own setting with the PBA," he said.

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The NBA can really be a good model as it has re-taken off well and hasn't suffered infection to players inside their Walt Disney World bubble.

The league has just released its latest results for COVID-19 tests performed on players in the restarted season, and the numbers are still perfect. None has been tested positive.

Uytengsu said it's about taking the pandemic seriously as he has been telling their players and personnel at Alaska Milk.

"I told the guys first and foremost I want you to treat this seriously, I want you to respect this pandemic because you don't see it, it's not like something is there and you avoid it," he said. (SB)