Apr 30, 2021

PBA targets Batangas as alternate practice venue

THE PBA remains fixated on a season-opener in the month of June, and is considering areas under a more lenient quarantine status to kick off scrimmages by May.

San Miguel Corp. sports director and Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua is batting for Batangas for its proximity, accessibility and the availability of three wooden playing venues in the city.

If the situation would call for it, Chua would also be okay to hold the season under a closed-circuit setup in Batangas.

"Ang lapit lang ng Batangas, at mabilis puntahan using the Skyway at STAR Tollway," said Chua. "Importante maka-scrimmage at nakapagsimula na if we're opening the season in June."

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said they're looking for ways to kick off the season in June so that they can still accommodate a two-conference format ending by December or January 2022.

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They have prepared a letter to the Inter-Agency Task Force, appealing that the PBA teams be allowed to start scrimmages in the NCR Plus area once its modified enhanced community quarantine status is downgraded to a relaxed level.

"Tignan natin kung ano ang sagot ng IATF. Malamang ipatawag kami in a meeting, and we have to defend our appeal," said Marcial.

While still waiting for the downgrading of the MECQ status, PBA ball clubs are suggested to train elsewhere.

"But teams, kailangan nila ng approval from the task force, pasok sa JAO (Joint Administrative Order), approval from the LGU (local government unit) at yung protocols nila," said Marcial.

Marcial and Chua are visiting the city Saturday for a meeting with city officials.

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"Pwede silang maghanap ng ibang lugar, but then again they have to satisfy the requirements," said Marcial. (SB)