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Pro leagues call timeout on training too as Metro Manila reverts to MECQ

Olmin Leyba - Philstar.com
Pro leagues call timeout on training too as Metro Manila reverts to MECQ
The PBA board will decide in September yet whether it is pushing through the disrupted Season 45 or cancelling it altogether. The PFL, meanwhile, pushed back its targeted training sessions at the PFF National Training in Carmona to third week of August.
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MANILA, Philippines – As the government granted exhausted medical frontliners’ request for a “timeout,” it has also hit the pause button on the gradual return of the PBA and other professional leagues.

President Duterte reverted Metro Manila and nearby areas to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for the next 14 days after medical groups called for stricter restrictions.

This effectively threw a wrench on the planned training restart of the PBA, Philippines Football League and Chooks to Go 3x3, which were all permitted to do small group physical conditioning and non-contact strength training under the more relaxed General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

“With regard to the resumption of PBA, Chooks to Go 3x3 and PFL’s training, there will be a slight delay,” Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra said.

“But rest assured that GAB will take advantage of this temporary halt to prepare our stakeholders in order to ensure the safe return of activities related to professional sports.”

Based on the GAB-DOH-PSC Joint Administrative Order, “only individual sports or physical activities shall be allowed like outdoor walk, jogging, running or biking” in high risk areas (MECQ).

The PBA is readjusting its slate after initially setting swab testing for all the teams this week and targeting the actual non-scrimmage practices by August 10.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said he views it as a “short detour” and maintained the league is still on track for its hoped-for return to training and eventually resumption of play by mid-October.

“The government knows what is good for us and we conform with their orders. We will follow the guidelines and will wait for the next word from them regarding restrictions,” said Marcial.

“I look at it as a short detour and I’m optimistic we can get our teams back in the gym at the right time,” he added.

The PBA board will decide in September yet whether it is pushing through the disrupted Season 45 or cancelling it altogether.

The PFL, meanwhile, pushed back its targeted training sessions at the PFF National Training in Carmona to third week of August. Cavite is also under MECQ.

“PFF has already notified the PFL clubs of this development,” the federation said in a statement.
“The PFF exhorts everyone to observe best practices in combating COVID-19, cooperate with local and national health authorities and be safe and healthy during the ongoing state of public health emergency in the country,” it said.

Chooks to Go Pilipinas 3x3 Commissioner Eric Altamirano said there’s just a “slight delay” in the league’s testing and start of practices.”

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