Marcial, staff meet Batangas officials

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
Marcial, staff meet Batangas officials
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial
BusinessWorld / Alvin S. Go

MANILA, Philippines — PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and his staff will confer with Batangas fifth district Rep. Marvey Marino, Batangas City Mayor Beverley Dimacuha and Batangas State University president Dr. Tirso Ronquillo in a meeting in Batangas City this morning preparatory to laying out protocol, security and sanitation procedures in anticipation of teams practicing in three facilities in the province with IATF approval.

Marcial said since NCR+ is under MECQ and Batangas under GCQ, the PBA Board of Governors gave its go-signal to check if Batangas could be a viable host for teams to practice. PBA governor Alfrancis Chua of Barangay Ginebra pointed out that with recently opened expressways cutting travel time from Metro Manila to Batangas City and back, teams could explore the possibility of closed-circuit day trips. Three facilities with indoor wooden-floor basketball courts in the province are the Batangas City Coliseum, Batangas State University gym and the Lyceum of the Philippines-Batangas gym. Marcial and his staff will inspect the three gyms today. Also in the itinerary is a stop at the Hotel Pontefino in Batangas City as an option to provide food for visiting teams.

Marcial said the timing of when to restart 5x5 practices depends on IATF’s evaluation of the COVID-19 situation in cities, towns, provinces and regions all over the country. He said the PBA is in full support of IATF and the national government’s vaccination program. Marcial added that if 5x5 practices restart by May 17 at the latest, the next season could begin sometime in June with the Philippine Cup to be followed by the second conference with a five to seven day interval. In this scenario, both conferences will feature single round eliminations and the season could end in December or January. “Kailangan bumaba ang COVID-19 cases natin at mag-improve ang status from MECQ,” he said. “Mahirap na tayong gumawa uli ng bubble. Sa Clark, ang gastos ay umabot ng P70 million at may tulong na ‘yan from Secretary Vince (Dizon). Nag-salary cut ang buong liga, including coaches, players at PBA staff pero pagumpisa ng 5x5 practices, ibabalik natin ang dating salary levels.”

Last Tuesday, Marcial issued a memo addressed to team managers, coaches and players announcing the start of a multi-media campaign “to inform and remind the public of our responsibility and duty as law-abiding citizens to follow COVID-19 protocols in the hope to stop the spread of the virus and to fast-track the end of the pandemic in our country.” Marcial said the hashtag #PBAItuloyAngLaban will be the official campaign peg in social media accounts and platforms. “Para sa bayan natin ‘to,” said Marcial. “Willing lahat ang mga coaches at players na tumulong. Ang layunin natin ay makabangon uli ang ating bayan, mamamayan at ekonomiya. Ang PBA ay laging handang sumuporta sa gobyerno.” He said the campaign will also be geared to promote vaccination. Marcial said vaccination is key to fight COVID-19 and steps are being taken to inoculate the entire PBA family.



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