MANILA, Philippines -- Wearing a mask while coaching is not particularly comfortable for NLEX coach Yeng Guiao, who admits that it is quite a "big challenge" for him.
Coaches are required to have their masks on while on the bench, as part of the strict protocols put together by the PBA and the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) for teams inside the league's bubble in Clark.
Even players who are not inside the court have to wear masks and observe physical distancing.
"Coaching with a mask on is a big challenge," admitted Guiao on Wednesday night, after the Road Warriors grabbed their first win of the PBA Philippine Cup by routing NorthPort, 102-88.
"Sa akin kasi, parang I like to hear myself shout, I like to hear my voice. It's kinda muffled with the mask," he explained.
From time to time, Guiao pulls down his mask to give clearer instructions to his players, although he makes sure to put it back on properly.
He previously joked that his players cannot properly hear him cursing through his mask.
But Guiao also made it clear that wearing a mask is a sacrifice that he and the rest of the PBA coaches are willing to make.
"I know people need to see us wearing masks. That's why I still feel that it's worth the sacrifice," he said.
This becomes even more important after a referee was tagged as a suspected positive COVID-19 case on Wednesday, and PBA commissioner Willie Marcial stressed that everyone inside the bubble has to be more diligent in following the protocols.
This includes wearing their face masks and face shields, and frequently washing their hands.