In isolation for several months, PBA gains a better understanding of mental health

Poy Erram (middle) says his struggles were more mental than physical. —PHOTO GRACIOUS BY PBA IMAGES

The PBA’s hosting of its Philippine Cup in a self-sustaining environment certainly deserved rave reviews from even the national government.

In fact, he has become a role model for Fiba’s upcoming window for their Asian Cup qualifiers.

But Commissioner Willie Marcial wished he could do more.

On the one hand, he regrets missing an opportunity to deal with the mental health issues of his delegates, which he hopes to prioritize if the league decides to host another tournament in a bio-secure setup.

Marcial, during a recent catch-up with sports scribes at the Philippine Sports Writers Association Forum last Tuesday, admitted he was set to have an in-depth discussion about mental health with the 350 mental health people. and emotional of the party.

“Before, I already spoke closely to the teams. One by one, ”he says in Filipino. “Then came the suspension [of games]. “

The league intended to bring together players and coaches and do virtual check-ins with psychiatrists during the tournament. But a stoppage of play caused by what turned out to be ‘false positives’ on two coronavirus tests put the league on the back heel and forced its managers to focus on how to crown a champion on time .

“We focused on how to immediately resume play and meet the conditions set by the [Inter-Agency] Working group, ”he continued.

Marcial said that during the planning phase of the restart of the season last September, the mental health of every delegate will be the league’s top priority, acknowledging that the restrictive measures will come at a high mental and emotional cost. majority of the delegation are heads of families. Several athletes recently became fathers for the first time a few months before the bubble.

At one point, Rain or Shine mainstay Beau Belga admitted that being isolated makes criticism on social media even more noticeable.

“You would have (mental) moments here,” he told reporters covering the bubble. “You are far from home, this is your comfort zone.”

TNT’s Poy Erram said much of his problems on the pitch stem from being away from his daughter and newborn wife.

“Physically, I knew there was nothing wrong with me,” he told the Inquirer. “But mentally, it was really such a struggle.”

While Marcial has all but ruled out the possibility of another bubble, he has also added a pullout: if circumstances force the league, he doesn’t completely shut down the idea of ​​another isolated season. If that does happen, however, he knows one thing he needs to grapple with.

“[Mental and emotional health are] really important. If we have another bubble next time, that will be just as important [to create guidelines for it]. »INQ

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