There’s light at the end of the tunnel for the Philippine Basketball Association’s 46th season after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the league’s proposal to conduct full practices in areas that are under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ.
The latest season of the PBA has been in limbo ever since stricter lockdown measures were imposed in Metro Manila and other neighboring areas following the concerning rise in Covid-19 cases. The league, though, was given hope after the announcement of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
“Pinayagan din po ng IATF ang mga laro o scrimmages ng mga practice ng Philippine Basketball Association sa mga lugar na general community quarantine at MGCQ subject to the proper health and safety protocols na pag-aaralan din muna ng Games and Amusements Board,” he said.
As Roque alluded to, team scrimmages will be subject to health protocols that will be enforced by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), the local government, and the league itself. PBA commissioner Willie Marcial added that he would meet with coaches and team managers next week to discuss these matters.
“Magtatawag ako ng meeting with the coaches, the players, team managers next week para malaman namin ‘yung mga protocols,” he said. “Meron kaming bagong sistema para sa testing. Kailangan seven days before, na-swab ka, two days before na-swab ka na — at nasa amin ang resulta. Kung walang resulta, hindi makakalaro.”
Batangas City has already given the thumbs up to its hosting of PBA teams’ practices with the Batangas City Coliseum, Lyceum-Batangas, and Batangas State University being eyed to stage these. Other PBA teams are also looking at other venues in Clark, Pampanga and Ilocos Norte.
Marcial added that PBA teams are free to choose wherever they practice provided they have the necessary clearance from the concerned parties.
“Walang problema. Kailangan lang approval ng JAO [Joint Administrative Order], ng GAB, at ng LGUs [local government units], at protocols natin,” said Marcial. (JNP)