Stricter health measures in place for resumption of PBA teams training
MANILA, Philippines—The PBA said it will be implementing stricter measures for the resumption of team practices for the stalled 2021 Philippine Cup.
This compared to when the league conducted a bubble environnment in Clark, Pampanga for the 2020 Philippine Cup.
League Commissioner Willie Marcial said players will undergo two RT-PCR tests before they can even enter the potential practice venues in Batangas City, which the PBA has chosen in its bid to get the 2021-22 season rolling.
The PBA already negotiated for the use of Batangas State University, Lyceum-Batangas, and Batangas City Coliseum as practice venues for some of its teams with sessions pegged to start either May 15 or 18.
After consulting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, the PBA required its players, coaches, and team personnel to undergo swab testing seven days before they regroup for practices and another test two days before the training sessions and scrimmages begin.
“Before they go to the practices they have to get tested, and we [at the PBA Office] have to know the result,” said Marcial in Filipino in a virtual press meeting.
The PBA originally required its players, coaches, and staff to undergo RT-PCR testing every two weeks during the Clark bubble.
Representatives from the PBA, Games and Amusements Board, and health officers from the training venues in Batangas will be present to monitor the team practices and scrimmages.
While the PBA negotiated with officials from Batangas, the MVP Group teams also took their own measures to secure venues in Ilocos Norte for TNT, NLEX, and Meralco but those three clubs will still adhere to the league’s health protocols.
“There are five to seven teams that want to practice here in Batangas, and I know that TNT, NLEX, and Meralco are looking at facilities up north,” said Marcial.
Marcial said that any team is free to choose any health clinic to get administered with RT-PCR tests as long as it is accredited with the Department of Health.
Players are also free to go to the venues on their own but if teams want to shuttle their staff, then they have to adhere to strict health protocols including foot baths and temperature checks before boarding the buses.
Marcial added that players will not be allowed to eat meals inside the practice venues, apart from hydration and the intake of fruits, and that they will only be allowed to get their food at Pontefino Hotel and Residences in Batangas City.
“Pontefino management put its facilities in a bubble, so its staff and officials are living in a bubble so it’s really safe here,” said Marcial. “If players want to eat, they may only eat here after and before practices.”
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