PBA players unanimously agree to return to practice

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Willie Marcial expressed optimism regarding the players’ return to practice after he sat down and met with team representatives to tackle health protocols on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

The league is paving the path for what they hope would be an eventual return to play in their stalled 45th season. One of the steps is the get the nod of the players, some of whom have expressed apprehension returning to practice because of the ever-present threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With each team sending a representative, Marcial and deputy commissioner Eric Castro talked about the health standards that they would be imposing if and when the league gets the green light to allow teams to resume practices from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).

While the league has already forwarded its plans and protocols to the IATF a few weeks ago, it has yet to receive a reply. However, getting the players’ approval will go a long way in the league’s mission to kickstart the 2020 season, which began last March but played only one game before it was indefinitely suspended.

According to the league’s website, Marcial said that after the discussion, he left the players to talk amongst themselves. Upon his return, they told him that they have already agreed to return to practice once the government will allow it.

Part of the health protocols pertaining to team practices is that only four players, a trainer and a health officer is allowed to attend per practice. This means teams will only get to practice in batches.

The PBA has given itself until August to decide whether to continue play this season or just cancel the season. (JNP)