The undermanned Letran Knights have returned to practice on Thursday, after four players, who tested positive for COVID-19, have recovered.
After undergoing five days of quarantine, the squad has resumed its preparations for Season 98 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which starts on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Knights’ head coach Bonnie Tan confirmed the situation involving the team, which showed up at the college gym in Intramuros, without two injured players.
“Back to basics ulit ang team sa practice. Naiwan na kami,” said Tan, in an interview with the Manila Standard, now that their opening match with host Emilio Aguinaldo College has been reset after the squad underwent health and safety protocols.
The EAC Generals, coached by Oliver Bunyi, will instead face Arellano University on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., while San Beda University meets the Mapua University Cardinals at 6 p.m.
Letran will make its debut on September 14 against Jose Rizal University at 12 noon.
The Knights’ game with the Generals will be held on October 11 instead and on the last day of the elimination round.
They won’t have former stars Rhenz Abando and Jeo Ambohot as they make a bid for a third straight title.
Abando recently skipped his final playing year with Letran and instead opted to turn professional, playing for Anyang KGC in the Korean Basketball League.
Ambohot also turned pro, signing up with Converge in the Philippine Basketball Association.
The team scrimmaged without injured teammates Paolo Javillonar (hamstring) and Kobe Monje (broken nose).
Tan said Javillonar is still undergoing rehabilitation, while Monje is still with his new protective mask on.
The Letran coach said most of the members of the team are doing fine, including the four, who contracted the virus.