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PBA awaiting gym clearance to get season restarted

/ 04:03 AM August 24, 2021

Willie Marcial

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is looking to clear one final hurdle to complete its relocation to Pampanga.

Commissioner Willie Marcial revealed on Monday that the league has already gained the provincial government’s formal nod to proceed with its activities in multiple sites across the province.

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The PBA, however, is still waiting for word from Dr. Enrique G. Baking, president of Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU) in Bacolor, on whether the league could use its gymnasium for the games.

“I’m just waiting for Dr. Baking’s approval. After that, we’re good to go,” said Marcial, who is looking to resume the Philippine Cup at the first week of September.

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“The teams have gone through testing and got their results over the weekend. They are traveling today. Practices are set to begin kick off Tuesday,” he added.

A number of teams, like Magnolia, Alaska and Barangay Ginebra, arrived in Pampanga on Monday afternoon, looking to make the most out of the league’s small window to get back into competition shape.

Tim Cone expressed his eagerness to get back to practices after settling for just virtual workouts for weeks.

“We have done what we could with what we were allowed,” the champion coach said “There is no substitute for court time, so we’re looking to … start practicing.”

“The key is that it’s the same for all the teams. We’ll all have similar struggles to get prepared to resume the game,” he added.

Aside from recently renovated DHVSU, deputy commissioner Eric Castro identified four other sites that the league is looking to convert into practice venues: Colegio de San Sebastian and Bren Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando City, Angeles University Foundation and Beverly Place in Mexico town.

To ensure the safety of the games, the PBA has decided to shrink the cycle of COVID-19 screening among its delegates. Marcial said the league will adopt a weekly testing reinforced by an antigen test done to the teams scheduled to play on each day.

The league is hoping to finish sometime around October. INQ

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TAGS: Basketball, PBA, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Sports
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