Penalties still in place
Willie Marcial

Penalties still in place

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - May 9, 2021 - 12:00am

PBA warns protocol violators

MANILA, Philippines — The PBA has warned of harsh penalties for every breach of health protocols as the 12 teams prepare for their long-delayed return to 5-on-5 scrimmages.

According to commissioner Willie Marcial, violators face a whopping fine of P100,000 and suspension for 10 days as the PBA tightens things up on the full-contact practices to be held under a closed-circuit setup.

“Lalakihan natin yan (We’ll make the penalties stiffer),” said Marcial.

He said the pro league will base the sanctions on what was set for the 2020 Philippine Cup bubble in Clark -- P100,000 fine and 10-day ban.

“We’ll be strict on this because we want this to be successful. This is not only for their own sake but for their teammates, fellow players, and families,” said Marcial, who views a hitch-free return to scrimmages as a strong jumpoff point to the actual games.

Unlike last year when scrimmages were held inside a bubble, teams will follow a home-venue-home routine for the sessions that could start as early as May 18.

Marcial said the pro league will strictly monitor the players’ movements while utilizing the SafePass contact-tracing app. Personnel will also be assigned to check on the health and safety guidelines in the training centers that are eyed in Batangas City and other areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ.

The PBA is also revising its testing guidelines. It now requires two swab tests before the start of training (the first one seven days prior and the second two days before). Regular tests will be done on a 10-day interval this time, instead of two weeks.

Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria sees no problem with the teams’ compliance.

“The teams will follow whatever protocol the IATF and PBA will give us as we all want to play and the fans have been waiting for the games,” he said in yesterday’s Power & Play program on Radyo Singko.

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