PBA seeks IATF green light to resume practice sessions

THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is inching towards letting its players return to practice in small batches.

But first, it must get the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force on emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on the protocols which were approved by the PBA board during its meeting on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at the PBA office.

Chairman Ricky Vargas and the rest of the league’s governors gave the green light to the guidelines that

were presented to them by league commissioner Willie Marcial. The next step will be presenting a letter to the IATF for approval.

“Sana nga mabigyan tayo ng pagkakataon ng IATF na makapag-practice na,” said Marcial.

While the National Capital Region has now been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ), mass gatherings are still prohibited.

“Maybe the commissioner can send it out by tomorrow (Thursday),” Vargas said of the letter meant for the IATF, which is cochaired by Rep. Karlo Nograles and Department of health Secretary Francisco Duque. “There are some people who offered to help us to follow this up with the IATF.”

Marcial described their proposed measures as more stringent than the guidelines that were recommended by world basketball governing body, Fiba. Only six people — four of whom are players — will be allowed per practice session. The temperature of the players attending will be checked prior to the practice, while alcohol and sanitizers will be readily available in areas around the practice venue.

These venues will also be sanitized and disinfected before and after practices.

“Sa isang team, apat na players lang, plus trainer and staff officer ang nandoon. So anim na tao lang yung per session,” said Marcial.

“Pag natapos na, alis na sila, then yung next batch naman ang sasalang.

“Walang scrimmages yan, walang games. Puro conditioning lang talaga.”

Players and staff members are also prohibited from taking showers after the workout.

“No shower, diretso alis na sila dapat. Yung practice uniform ilalagay nila sa mga plastic for washing and disinfect,” added Marcial.

The most important step, however, is to have all the players tested. Players who have not gone through tests will not be allowed to attend practices. / JNP