PBA optimism on restart high after MMDA meeting

Matt Ganuelas-Rosser

Matt Ganuelas-Rosser shoots a jumper over Star forward Marc Pingris. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

TNT coach Chot Reyes relished the opportunity to acquire Matt Ganuelas-Rosser via free agency. He’ll need time to get the defensive ace to acclimatize to his system.

Reyes is close to getting that opportunity as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) emerged from its meeting with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) optimistic of getting the nod for its team to hold scrimmages.

“We’ve already sat down with chairman (Benhur) Abalos together with general manager Atty. (Romando) Artes last Tuesday, looking to gain clearance in holding scrimmages,” he told the Inquirer on Wednesday. “We’re hoping to get an official endorsement by Thursday or Friday, that way we can now move on and reach out to Metro Manila’s mayors.”

Scrimmages will be the last component the PBA needs to iron out so it can resume its season-ending Governors’ Cup, which is why Marcial is adding yet another layer of protection by requiring teams to undergo antigen testing before every scrimmage.

“That way we can take an extra measure to protect everyone. And that’s also a way for us to prove to everybody that we’re ready to get back to playing,” Marcial said.

The league has pinned the second week of February as a possible restarting date for the Governors’ Cup.

Marcial had previously told the Inquirer that he intends to give all 12 clubs at least 10 days of workout before plunging back in action.

That would give Reyes a chance to give his new acquisition time to feel his way into TNT’s system.

“To be able to get a player of his caliber for nothing was too good to pass up,” Reyes told the Inquirer.

Marcial said fans will be barred from venues anew for the time being.

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