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PBA workouts just need GAB go-signal

/ 04:02 AM May 11, 2021

The fate of the Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) return to practices is now in the hands of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) after commissioner Willie Marcial sent the government agency copies on how the league will implement health protocols.

“We’ve checked in with [chairperson] Abraham Mitra, and things are looking good,” Marcial told the Inquirer in Filipino over the phone on Monday.

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“I’ve already sent an official letter for the resumption of practices, [a copy] of the Inter-Agency Task Force [for the Management of] Emerging Infectious Diseases’ resolution, and our set of protocols, so we’re hoping for a response soon.”

Mitra, for his part, was just as optimistic: “The PBA leads the way in safety protocols and we are confident we will work things out right away so that practices can resume very soon.”

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Marcial disclosed that he also met with the coaches and team managers of all 12 member clubs to share developments and discuss the groundwork with regards to the league’s return to scrimmages.

“That, too, went well,” he said. “It was mostly me sharing our progress.”

The commissioner said that teams can begin on May 18 at the earliest, barring any more complications.

Marcial said that teams would need to be tested by Tuesday and get negative results if they are to start practices by the 18th.

This is why Batangas City should come in handy, as the league already made sure that three sites—Batangas Coliseum, Lyceum of the Philippines in Batangas and Batangas State U’s courts—are up to the league’s standards.

“We just need at least five days to have the venues ready. We have to get [the venues] sanitized, their securities checked and their staff vetted,” he said.

Marcial said that no team has officially taken up the Batangas option yet. INQ

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