PBA teams’ return to practice on hold as official guidelines yet to be released

·2 min read

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) teams may have to wait a while longer before they’ll be able to return to practice as the league awaits the Joint Administrative Order from the GAB, Department of Health and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Although the league’s proposal for its return to training sessions has already gotten the go-signal from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the league is still awaiting for the official papers to come their way.

Teams had been planning to return to practice on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 but that plan has been moved to next week as all players and staff of the 12 PBA teams must first undergo a swab test once the PBA Commissioner’s Office gets the official guidelines.

"I had a talk with Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra Thursday. He expects to get the administrative order this week," PBA commissioner Willie Marcial was quoted as saying on the league’s website.

"There's a little delay but we're positive we'll go on with the training return," Marcial added.

Meanwhile, Dioceldo Sy, Blackwater’s embattled team owner, has already met with the GAB chairman to smooth things over regarding the alleged premature return to practice by the Elite.

Mitra said that Sy has already apologized for the incident but the former reiterated that the PBA team would not be spared of any sanction from the government body. He added that he would meet with the rest of his board members to discuss this matter.

The PBA has already slapped Blackwater with a hefty P100,000 fine after Sy revealed in an online interview that his team had already gone through a training session a few weeks ago, violating the government’s health protocols in the fight against COVID-19 as the resolution that permits professional teams in basketball and football to return to practice has yet to be released. (JNP)