PBA chief assures league compliance with gov't pandemic guidelines | Inquirer Sports

PBA chief assures league compliance with gov’t pandemic guidelines

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 07:29 PM May 06, 2020

Willie Marcial

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the possible resumption of the league’s 45th season will depend on the government’s guidelines and protocols in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.

As it stands, mass gatherings remain prohibited even after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed on many parts of the country including the National Capital Region (NCR) is placed under a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) beginning May 15.

Even then, the potential transition into a GCQ setup in Metro Manila is not guaranteed just yet with another extension of the ECQ being eyed as the number of confirmed cases in the country continues to rise by the hundreds daily.

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“It’s sad. But that’s the reality. It’s hard to bring back sports right away because, for one, there’s the social distancing issue to be followed,” said Marcial in Filipino in a story on the PBA website.

There’s also a lot more than just observing social distancing to take into account when it comes to staging a basketball game.

“One can say our players are strong enough to be hit by COVID-19. Yes, they may have strong immune systems but what happens when they get home and possibly carry the virus with them? They may end up infecting their family and that’s a big, big concern,” he added.

Even playing its usual doubleheader at an empty arena, which Marcial had already ruled out, won’t cut it.

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“Even our double-headers are already considered as a mass gathering,” said Marcial.

Last Saturday, Marcial had said the PBA Board of Governors all agreed to set an August deadline on whether to cancel the season altogether or proceed by playing with only one conference.

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TAGS: Basketball, coronavirus, Game, pandemic, PBA, Sports, Willie Marcial

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