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Fernandez not rushing return of NCAA, says safety should be the priority in this health crisis

by Niel Victor Masoy, May 20, 2020 4:38pm

San Beda University (SBU) head coach Boyet Fernandez isn't in a hurry for sports to return immediately.

For the multi-titled coach, safety should be the priority over any competitions in this time of COVID-19 pandemic. 

Still, Fernandez is hopeful that sports can return and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) season 96 can begin late this year or early 2021.

"Well, matagal pa talaga ang paghihintay basta safe lang lahat ay okay lang," Fernandez was quoted as saying by Michael Jugado of the Malaya-Business Insight.

"New normal pero sana kahit late 2020 or early 2021 ay matuloy ang season," added Fernandez, whose Red Lions finished as runners-up last season.

In the recent years, the NCAA used to kick off its sporting events in July, with the Men's basketball taking center stage in the first semester events.

However, it's highly likely that the oldest collegiate league in the country may postpone, or even cancel its season 96 competitions altogether due to the current state of the world.

President Rodrigo Duterte even said that he will only be ready to lift the nationwide quarantine once a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

According to experts, it may take up to two years for a vaccine to be fully developed. 

US biotech firm Moderna, however, is optimistic it may develop the much-needed vaccine in early 2021, saying its first clinical tests of experimental vaccine showed promising results against the dreaded COVID-19.

For now, Fernandez is just grateful that the rest of his team are safe and healthy in their respective homes.

"Almost all of our players are in their home provinces spending more time with their families and I do thank the Lord that everyone is safe and healthy," sad Fernandez, whose Red Lions also had to postpone their overseas training in preparation for the NCAA season 96.

"The Red Lions are still in lockdown for two months now. We are still waiting some news from the government kung kailan sila papayag na makabalik at makapag-practice na,” he added.

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