May 22, 2020

Marcial insists PBA to comply with government protocols

WHATEVER the government rules, the Philippine Basketball Association obeys.

So says PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, expressing no opposition on the standards set by the Philippine Sports Institute on the gradual return of sports under the "new normal" situation in the country.

If the Inter-Agency Task Force adopts PSI's matrix titled "Framework Tool for Reintroducing Sport in a COVID-19 Environment," then 5x5 basketball will be back only upon the total lifting of all kinds of quarantine.

In the first place, Marcial himself is for the gradual return of PBA ball clubs even in workouts.

Initial activities being mulled by the league are workouts by small group in anticipation of the easing of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila.

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"Unti-unting balik sa normal ang plano ng gobyerno, at yun din naman ang tinitignan ng PBA. First is the set of guidelines for the return to practice. Under the GCQ, allowed na ang gathering ng small group, so baka naman pwede na rin mag-work out ang team ng four or five players per session," the league commissioner has said earlier.

Golf and tennis are among individual sports already allowed under GCQ, thus, allowing the reopening of golf clubs in Cavite and Batangas, among others.

For basketball under the PSI-prepared matrix, "ball and skill drills in front of a home" or "an enclosed public street fronting the household" is allowed under MECQ.

More activities are allowed as the area's status is downgraded.

Under the (GCQ), solo use of a public basketball or village court with "no person to person interaction or sharing of equipment" is permitted.

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In places under Modified GCQ, multiple person interaction (passing drills) but no-contact play or scrimmage (skill set run, agility drills or ball skills among distanced individuals) is good to go.

But 5-on-5 will have to wait for complete relaxation of quarantine restrictions.

The PBA board of governors is waiting until August to make a definitive decision whether to resume or scrap PBA Season 45.(SB)