Mo Tautuaa of San Miguel fights for the loose ball during their game against Barangay Ginebra on Nov. 8. PBA Images

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY– A different storm is brewing in Clark, Pampanga, just hours after Typhoon “Ulysses” left a trail of destruction along its path.

It’s the PBA playoffs on Friday.

For the eight bubble survivors, the lone day to recuperate from the rigorous stretch of games shines like sunrise.

The priority of teams for now is to rest and recharge. The playoff entries are set to grind it out anew for the quarterfinals following an exhausting elimination round campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup.

All 12 teams played 11 games in just a span of one month, giving them only a few days to restore their energy while trying to regain their shape coming off a seven-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Making matters worse was the postponement recommended by the IATF and DOH from October 30 to November 2 that scrapped four playdates, forcing the league to release an even tighter schedule. 

A total of 30 games were compressed in just nine days resulting in most of the teams playing back-to-back games.  

Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone is hoping their three-day rest will work wonders for his top-seeded team heading into its clash against No. 8 Rain or Shine on Friday. 

“Well, five games in seven days, our guys are worn out. But the fact that we have finished and were done while other teams are still playing gives us an edge as we go into the playoffs,” said Cone. 

“Hopefully, that rest will get us back into peak form,” added the winningest mentor in PBA history. 

Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso, whose squad also finished ahead of the last day of eliminations, wanted to have his injured players recover while preparing for their opponent, which turned out to be TNT. 

“We’re balancing it. Being able to prepare and just improve ourselves is really our focus,” said Cariaso as his No. 6 Aces take four days off before facing the No. 3 Tropang Giga on Saturday. 

Phoenix coach Topex Robinson stressed on mental preparedness as his No. 2 Fuel Masters go on a two-day rest ahead of their tussle versus the streaking No. 7 Magnolia on Saturday. 

“Ang mahalaga kasi dito yung utak ng players. As long as their minds are in the right frame, I think physically we will be okay,” said Robinson.  

No. 4 San Miguel also has  two days off before its quarterfinal opening tiff against No. 5 Meralco, which played its final game on Wednesday. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (