PBA clubs eye return to old haunts

Commissioner Willie Marcial
STAR/ File

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila’s shift to general community quarantine (GCQ) level gave PBA teams hopes they can go back to their “home gyms” soon for their practices.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said with the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in NCR Plus now lifted, at least six teams have asked for “endorsements” for submission to the local government units (LGUs) where their regular training hubs are located.

The concerned LGUs, according to Marcial, will ultimately decide whether the clubs may go back to the gyms in their respective localities.

“They just need permission from the LGU, and Metro Manila training is a go,” he said.

There may be a hitch in training in NCR Plus at this time, though, as its status is “GCQ with heightened restrictions.” Under such classification, recreational venues, including indoor sports courts are still prohibited.

“We will seek clarification,” said Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra in a presscon yesterday.

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“We will write the IATF right away kasi may clearance sila (for the scrimmages) pero sa guidelines bawal ang closed gyms so gagawan natin ng paraan, hahanapan natin ng solusyon,” he added.

The pro league has the approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to conduct 5-on-5 scrimmages in areas under GCQ and modified GCQ subject to GAB vetting and proper health protocols.

The GAB said it has approved the PBA’s closed circuit protocols subject to the following conditions: clearance from LGU; inspection of venues by GAB regulators and safety officers prior to actual training; summary of RT-PCR test results before the start and after testing per team (subject to data privacy act); list of participants and schedules; and pictures and videos of training per session.

While waiting for the go-signal to work out in their old jaunts, some of the teams are motoring outside NCR to get things going.

Blackwater, Rain or Shine, Phoenix and Magnolia are confirmed for sessions in Batangas City on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Meralco is scheduled to go to Ilocos Norte this weekend for a 10-day bubble training although it is still considering Metro Manila training if allowed.

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