May 18, 2020

PBA officials looking at gradual return of ball clubs to workouts

IN informal talks among themselves, PBA officials are already figuring ways how to gradually get the league back in play, starting with the slow return of the ball clubs to workouts on the hard court.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, who has been in constant phone chats with league chair Ricky Vargas, vice chairman Bobby Rosales and the other PBA governors, is readying their own guidelines and protocols, anticipating the government's lifting of more restrictions under a relaxed quarantine period.

"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 general community quarantine, 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," said Marcial.

"Pero bago gamitin ng teams natin ang mga practice venues nila, we have to make sure those places are disinfected, at lahat ng equipment na hahawakan ng mga players natin ay disinfected din," Marcial also said.

Another must is all the players undergoing COVID testing.
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"It's to make sure that we have a clean bubble, and we have to protect that bubble," Marcial said.

A number of countries having allowed the return of sports, including South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and the United States, makes Marcial hopeful PBA Season 45 can be salvaged even with one tourney.

"If the situation improves, leading to the lifting of restrictions by August, then we can resume play in September," said Marcial.

The league had just played one game in PBA Season 45 when it called an indefinite suspension at the early stage of what has become a full-blown coronavirus pandemic.(SB)