Almost all sports leagues all over the world have been put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it could be a while before we get to enjoy watching our athletes on the court again.
We spoke to some athletes about what they think are the sports values we can apply in this time of crisis.
For Smart-sponsored Gilas Pilipinas and former Ateneo Blue Eagles athletes Matt and Mike Nieto, teamwork is very important in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
The Nieto twins organized donation drives to support their uncle and godfather, Cainta City Mayor Kit Nieto. “Our Gilas Pilipinas family helped us, as well as our mother teams in the PBA – Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and NLEX Road Warriors—who gave relief goods for the people of Cainta,” Mike shared.
The brothers personally helped in the packing and distribution of relief goods. “We saw of the faces of the people when they received the donation – they were thankful. Some even cried,” Matt shared. “Lahat ng pagod namin ay nagiging worth it pag nakikita namin yung mga mukha ng mga tao,” he added.
“This is really a situation where our faith, camaraderie, and strategy are tested. As athletes and sports managers, we know that this pandemic might change the industry as we know it,” said Gabby Cui, assistant vice president at PLDT-Smart, and team manager of Gilas Pilipinas and TNT KaTropa.
“Since we cannot do our usual huddle in the sidelines, we rely on mobile data and stable internet connection to hold team meetings. We also use video conferencing to coach and monitor the athletes when they do their lockdown drills and exercises,” he added.
Just like their attitude on the court, the Nieto twins reiterated the importance of discipline during the quarantine period.
“Stay disciplined. Let’s be disciplined, and let’s encourage others to stay home as well,” Mike shared.
Even PLDT-Smart Omega team members also reassured fans that they are safe and healthy because they are staying inside the camp. “Kahit magpagupit, di namin magawa,” said “Hadjizy” Salic Imam. “Stay at home lang para matapos na ‘to at matuloy na natin ang bakbakan sa The Nationals,” added “Haze” Jniel Bata-Anon.
Hitters libero Alyssa Eroa also said that supporting our teammates and having the proper mindset can also help people deal with the lockdown and block the further spread of the virus.
“Malalampasan din natin ito, makisama at sumunod po tayo,” she shared.
Meanwhile, volleyball hitter Maria Shola Alvarez also put prime on staying healthy and productive during the lockdown.
“We need to eat healthy food like vegetables and fruits, so that we can boost our immunity,” Alvarez said. “If we can take vitamins daily, and work out.”
They also suggested using alternative stuff at home in case no exercise equipment is available. You can clean the house and do other household chores.
Gilas Pilipinas guard Matt Nieto also encouraged exercising at home. “You can follow us on Instagram. We uploaded exercise tips so that people can stay healthy despite the lockdown.”
He also reminded everyone to drink their vitamins, and to disinfect. “It’s important that we don’t infect other people, and always wear your face masks,” he shared.
“Even if we’re inside our houses, we can do a lot to help our fellow Filipinos, especially those in need. Lahat ng ito gagawin natin para sa bayan,” his brother Mike said.