Marcial to orient PBA players on practice protocol

PHILIPPINE Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Willie Marcial will be having a dialogue with representatives of the 12 member teams to explain to them the protocol that they have established if and when they are allowed to practice again.

Marcial will sit down and talk to two members of each team on June 23 to discuss the crucial matter that involves the players’ health and safety.

“Magpapatawag tayo ng dialogue. We’ll reach out to the players. Kukunin namin yung consensus nila, yung opinion nila, kung ano ang tingin nila doon sa mga gagawin natin. At the same time, mapapaliwanag ko rin sa kanila yung mga protocol na gagawin kung payagan na ang PBA teams na makapag-practice,” said Marcial.

The PBA has already forwarded its proposed guidelines for the players’ return to training to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases). However, the IATF has yet to hand down a ruling.

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas said this initiative will help allay some of the apprehensions about returning to practice amidst this pandemic.

“I think the dialogue Commissioner Willie will do is to assure our players that we’re doing all we can to make the basketball court safe. We should assure the players that they will be safe and that proper testing will be done,” Vargas.

Marcial is set to explain in detail to players why they need to be tested before they are allowed to practice. They will go through a rapid test, swab test and another rapid test every 10 days before being allowed to practice.

The training sessions themselves, will be wholly different from the ones the players are used to before this pandemic as only six people are allowed to be at the practice venue per session — four players, one trainer and a health officer, who will check their temperatures and make sure that they are practicing social distancing and other health protocols.

“Kung apat sila, walang dalawahan, walang scrimmages, walang game. Conditioning lang talaga. Conditioning lang talaga. Biruin mo, apat kayo sa isang court. Kaya yung social distancing, magagawa natin,” said Marcial. (JNP)