NCAA players can play in semi-pro leagues

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    WHILE there are no face-to-face classes, the NCAA’s 96th season is unlikely to get going.

    Players suiting up in commercial or semi-pro leagues will be allowed, however, to play.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity, a reliable source told Malaya-Business Insight that NCAA players can play in leagues such as the Philippine Super Liga and Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

    “Hindi sila professional, but commercial (league players). May mga player kami doon and makakalaro sila,” the source said.

    “Una, over-18 na iyan, pangalawa, they are not representing the school.”

    The PSL and MPBL were given the green light to restart their seasons in a bubble and without fans through a Department of Health circular that will allow leagues that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Sports Commission and Games and Amusements Board to resume.

    Both leagues must adhere to minimum public health protocols and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority will take “full accountability in monitoring and oversight of the sports bubble and the management of possible COVID-19 outbreak following the sports bubble/event.”

    The PSL will stage its season-opening Gatorade-Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup on Feb. 25, while the stalled MPBL Lakan Cup playoffs resume starting March 5.

    That’s just fine, according to the source.

    “They are playing not as student-athletes but as commercial league players,” the source said. “Puwede sila doon. Hindi sila sakop ng purview ng CHED.”

    The Commission on Higher Education released the safety and health guidelines for the resumption of varsity training last October.

    The collegiate leagues are still waiting for green light from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases nearly four months after.

    Among the sports that were called off were indoor volleyball, football, lawn tennis, soft tennis, track and field, beach volleyball, and cheerleading.