May 07, 2021

IATF approves PBA team workouts in GCQ, MGCQ areas

RETURN to practices, including 5-on-5 scrimmages, by the PBA ball clubs has got the approval of the government.

Through Resolution No. 114, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases gave green light on the planned workouts of PBA teams in venues located in general community quarantine or moderate GCQ areas.

It's welcome news making PBA officials more optimistic they can go on with the PBA Season 46 kickoff by June.

"We're looking at a month of practices. Mid-June baka pwede na tayo mag-start ng season. And yes, we're still on target for a two-conference calendar for Season 46," said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.

"May mga ikla-clarify pa tayo sa approval. May mga aalamin pa tayo, pero nagpapasalamat na tayo ngayon pa lang sa approval," added Marcial, making special mention of Sen. Bong Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, through whom they coursed their appeal to the government.

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With the IATF nod, Marcial is to sit down in a meeting Monday with Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra for the protocols for the conduct of the practices.

GAB is signatory along with the Department of Health and the Philippine Sports Commission in a Joint Agreement Order that is also needed to clear the way for the PBA workouts.

The PBA has its own training guidelines in place.

"Mas hihigpitan pa natin. Seven days and two days before practice, kailangan swab test. At dati every 14 days ang testing; gagawin natin ngayon every 10 days," said Marcial, talking to sports media via zoom from Batangas City after inspecting three gymnasiums there.

They are cleared to hold scrimmages at the Batangas City Coliseum, Batangas State University Gym and the Lyceum-Batangas Gym.

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Some other teams intend to go as far as Ilocos in the North for their training.

"Kung bumaba sa GCQ ang quarantine status sa NCR at Rizal, pwedeng sa Manila o sa Ynares-Antipolo, Ynares-Pasig na mag-ensayo ang mga teams natin. But again, hihingi muna tayo ng clarification," said Marcial. (SB)