Pro loop to reach out to proper body
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - June 3, 2020 - 12:00am

The PBA Board of Governors will convene at the pro league headquarters in Libis today to assess the situation under general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila and discuss what to propose to the IATF with regard to the resumption of limited team practices.

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said yesterday daily office hours restarted last Monday on a rotating half-force basis. The viewing room will be cleared to accommodate the governors in the meeting with the provision for a video conference for those unable to attend physically. It will be the first board meeting where the governors are gathering face-to-face since the lockdown last March.

Marcial said 40 percent of the work force reported for duty last Monday. With an every-other-day rotation, the balance of employees was in the office yesterday. Only those who are ill or not feeling up to par are excused from the rotation. With office hours back on a daily basis, it’s business as usual in Libis.

Marcial said a proposal to the IATF will be submitted to the board for consideration in today’s meeting. The IATF has allowed the resumption of “non-contact” sports under GCQ with strict health protocols. Running, biking, golf, swimming, tennis singles, badminton singles, equestrian and skateboarding were given the green light but participants must wear protective masks. Gyms and fitness facilities will remain closed.

Under a modified GCQ, sporting events will be allowed but only with an audience of 50 percent of capacity. But basketball, boxing and other “contact” sports will still not be permitted. Gyms and fitness facilities may reopen at 50 percent capacity.

Marcial declined to reveal details of the draft proposal but said it will involve requesting IATF clearance to restart practices without scrimmages. “The thinking is limited participation, a few players at a time but definitely, no games, no scrimmages, not even 2-on-2 or 3-on-3,” he said. “We’ll impose strict health protocols, including social distancing. Let’s wait for the board decision. Once it’s decided what to propose, we will make our request to the IATF.”

The board previously announced that it will decide by August whether to resume the Philippine Cup or cancel the 45th season before the year ends. The decision will depend on the prevailing situation at the time. Marcial said the latest to restart the season is in October. The season will be in danger of cancellation if the decision remains pending after October. He said the league’s priority is the health and safety of everyone, including players, coaches, referees and fans.

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