PBA: Teams can’t hold practices, scrimmages
The PBA has ordered all of its teams to suspend practices and other related activities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A memorandum issued on Friday afternoon seeks to implement a strict, two-week prohibition on “practices, scrimmages, and other related activities” beginning on Saturday, March 14.
“It was a move to protect our athletes and the PBA community,” PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial told the Inquirer.
“It was an idea brought up by chairman (Ricky) Vargas, and vice chair (Bobby) Rosales, which was pushed by San Miguel team governor (Alfrancis Chua),” he added.
The move comes hours after President Duterte’s declaration to put Metro Manila in a 30-day community quarantine beginning on Sunday after the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country.
A handful of PBA teams have already called off their practices ahead of the announcement, among them Meralco, Blackwater, Phoenix and Alaska.
TNT and Columbian were among the other teams that held training sessions on Friday.
“We’ll still assess the situation,” said Marcial when asked about the league’s moves once the suspension lapses.
“The government does daily assessments so we’ll just follow their lead.”
The PBA, meanwhile, has begun operating with a “skeleton workforce,” according to Marcial, with most of its at-risk staffers already encouraged to work remotely from their respective homes.
“Those with essential roles are on-call,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Asean Basketball League (ABL) decided to indefinitely suspend its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ABL COO Jericho Ilagan released a statement on Friday announcing the league stoppage. —WITH A REPORT FROM BONG LOZADA
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