Heavy traffic due to lumad rallies delays PBA teams in Panabo | Inquirer Sports

Heavy traffic due to lumad rallies delays PBA teams in Panabo

/ 10:40 AM March 19, 2016

PBA playing in Panabo Center, Davao Del Norte. FILE PHOTO/PBA IMAGES

PBA playing in Panabo Center, Davao Del Norte. FILE PHOTO/PBA IMAGES

Even in Davao Del Norte, Ginebra and Phoenix could not get away from the heavy traffic.

Leading up to their Saturday afternoon clash at Panabo Multi-Purpose Tourism, Cultural, and Sports Center, both teams had to deal with the six-hour gridlock caused by the Lumad rallies in the Davao-Butuan highway.

Ginebra took the brunt of the problem as it got caught in heavy traffic on its way back to the team hotel after wrapping up practice on Friday.

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“It just took us four and-a-half hours to return to our hotel after practice,” said coach Tim Cone.

Phoenix, meanwhile, was a little bit luckier after arriving in Davao two days prior to game day.

Alternate governor Raymond Zorilla said the Fuel Masters were still able to shoot around at the venue Thursday, but was forced to retreat to USEP Gym in Davao City the day after due to the road congestion.

“We had information in advance (of the rallies) so we were advised not to proceed anymore to the venue,” he said.

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The protesters, which are a mix of militant groups and lumads (indigenous people), have blocked the area, with some even laying down on the four lanes of the highway disrupting the traffic flow.

They are calling on the government to pull out the troops from lumad communities in the Compostela Valley, Bukidnon, Davao del Norte and Agusan del Sur.

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The rallies are expected to continue Saturday.

That gives Cone more worries with the team’s supposed 45-minute trip to the Panabo venue expected last even longer.

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“We’re wondering how we’ll get to the facility for the game later and whether the fans will be able to attend,” he said, as he hopes his wards will make it to the 5 p.m. tip off.

TAGS: Davao, PBA, practice, traffic

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