Playing competitive basketball without fans inside the venue is not something to look forward to, especially during international competitions.
Take it from NLEX coach and former Gilas Pilipinas mentor Yeng Guiao.
“Na-experience namin yan,” said Guiao recalling the closed-door game between the Philippines and Qatar during a FIBA World Cup qualifying match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in 2018.
“It’s kind of surreal. It felt really weird you’re playing in your home country, in the home stadium and there’s nobody cheering for you. I think it affected us,” he added.
With the upcoming 2020 PBA Philippine Cup restart set to be held inside a bubble in Clark, Pampanga, games will be played inside an empty Angeles University Foundation gym.
Unlike his previous experience, however, Guiao feels that an empty venue will work to the advantage of 11 PBA teams, including the Road Warriors.
“Lahat kami (all 11 others teams) ang magbe-benefit kasi wala kaming laban sa fans ng Ginebra. Great equalizer ang tawag dyan,” said the former Pampanga congressman.
Kidding aside, an empty venue does have some benefits.
“It’s easy to communicate with the players. Wala na silang excuse ngayon na ‘coach di ko narinig ang sinabi mo,'” said Guiao.