JAPETH Aguilar of Barangay Ginebra and Rain or Shine rookie Adrian Wong are sure to be slapped sanctions but the biggest problem facing PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial is how the duo’s violation of quarantine rules in a pick-up game last Friday would affect the pro league’s bid to return to action soon.
Marcial said he will determine the sanctions to be imposed on Aguilar and Wong after talking with them yesterday and then conferring with his technical team afterwards.
“I-re-remind ko lang, na hindi nila puwedeng ulitin iyon,” Marcial said, referring to the duo’s participation in a pick-up game last Friday at the Ronac gym in San Juan City in the company of Japan-bound Thirdy Ravena and pro draftee Isaac Go.
Marcial said the two will have to undergo swab tests and 14-day quarantine.
An insider said fines and suspensions are poised on the two to send a strong message to the other players to refrain from playing in unauthorized 5-on-5 games due to the lingering threat of the coronavirus disease.
In a video posted on Instagram last Wednesday, Aguilar, Wong, Ravena and Go were among those seen playing, along with University of the Philippines star Kobe Paras. The video has been deleted.
Marcial has already talked to Go, picked first by Columbian, now Terrafirma, in a special draft for Gilas players.
“Äng sabi ko lang sa kanya, technically, PBA na siya pero Gilas pa rin siya kaya hindi ko na siya ipapatawag. Pero huwag na dapat niyang gawin ulit,” related Marcial. “Apologetic naman iyung bata at nangakong hindi na uulit.”
The video became viral on social media just a day before the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases last Friday allowed basketball and football to resume non-contact practices.
“Na-compromise kasi ang PBA,” said the source. “Mantakin mong kung napanood ng IATF iyun at binawi bigla ‘ýung order? Buong PBA apektado.”
The source said a representative from the Games and Amusements Board is likely to be present in Marcial’s meeting with the players. The GAB had a big hand in helping the PBA get a positive response from the IATF.
Basketball games remain prohibited under general community quarantine regulations imposed by the government in Metro Manila to prevent the further spread of the contagion.
All PBA teams will be allowed to have four people individually working out in a practice gym under GCQ and a maximum of 10 if regulations are downgraded to modified general community quarantine, the lowest quarantine level.
Marcial also said he will issue a memorandum to all the 12 teams to remind them of his directive dated March 13 not to conduct team practices until given he gives them the green light.
The PBA suspended all its activities last March 11 due to the outbreak that was declared a worldwide pandemic days later.