PBA chairman Ricky Vargas and commissioner Willie Marcial lead PBA executives in crafting return-to-training plan.
PBA upbeat on court return
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - June 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The PBA is poised to move forward with its return-to-training plans, hopeful it can get government clearance to hold its first activity since the lockdown.

Convening in a face-to-face meeting at the PBA office yesterday, an upbeat board of governors approved the set of protocols for the eyed training restart, which it stressed adheres with every government guideline.

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas of TNT, vice chairman Bobby Rosales of Columbian Dyip and commissioner Willie Marcial said they’re hoping it will get approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force especially if the situation improves further.

“The COVID situation is something we can’t predict but as far as improvement in terms of where we are now – GCQ – and if we get into MGCQ and some of the facilities start opening especially the arenas, then it gives us hope that we can open,” Vargas said in an online presscon.

“Sabi nga ni commissioner, let’s take it one step at a time pero right now is the time to start practicing and staying together,” he added.

Under the proposal, only four players will be allowed each training session, and there won’t be scrimmages just yet.

One trainer and one health or medical officer will accompany the four in the sessions, and there will be adequate intervals for each set. The venues will be required to conduct “hospital-standard” disinfection.

“Mininum standard – temperature (reading), alcohol, floor mats, apat lang per session, social distancing, after practice yung uniforms, lagay sa plastic, alis agad ng venue, wala nang shower,” said Marcial.

Testing is a must, according to Vargas. Players will also undergo rapid, swab and rapid testing 10 days apart every month.

Metro Manila’s shift to general community quarantine with the prospect of soon transitioning to the more lenient modified GCQ gave league execs more hope about at least resuming training.

“When I was chairing the meeting, the mood was very upbeat and I felt everybody amongst the governors were eager and ready to work, get back to court and help get the PBA running ASAP (as soon as possible),” Vargas said.

“We’re one in saying it has to be safe. It has to be a safe place not only for players but also their families and fans,” he added.

The board tasked Marcial to conduct dialogues with the players, two at a time beginning June 23, to get their pulse.

“Magpapatawag ako ng dialogues. Mag-uusap kami. Kamusta sila. Ano ba sa tingin nila sitwasyon? Ano sa palagay nila ang magagawa natin,” said Marcial.

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