PBA quickening pace is key to comeback


    THE PBA aims to quicken the pace in its bid to salvage part of its 45th season drastically disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

    But those steps, Commissioner Willie Marcial stressed, would be taken with much more than the ordinary safety precautions.

    “Mas istrikto tayo,” Marcial told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday. “Hospital standards ang gagamitin natin.”

    Marcial was set to meet later yesterday with representatives of the Games and Amusement Board, Department of Health, and possibly those from the Philippine Football Federation, the first of three successive meetings he would have.

    Those meetings will discuss the protocols that would be implemented in the PBA teams’ return to practices.

    The practices, geared towards players’ conditioning, was made possible when the IATF last week green-lighted the PBA’s request for alternating, non-scrimmage training sessions by batches of four players.

    Whatever would be finalized in yesterday’s meeting would be relayed by Marcial to the coaches and team managers of all 12 teams in separate meetings today.

    “Iyung tulad ng scheduling ng practices, sanitation ng facilities, iyung lagi nating sinasabing closed circuit method na bahay-kotse-gym-kotse-bahay,” Marcial said, enumerating the most likely topics to be discussed.

    “Lalo na iyung social distancing, kasi kahit mag-ka-teammate kayo may tsansa para magkahawahan kung magkadikit kayo,” said Marcial. “Kailangan no physical contact talaga.”

    All those steps approved with the teams’ officials would then be relayed by Marcial to the PBA Board tomorrow.

    “Kapag na-plantsa na lahat ng protocols, gusto naming mag-start na ‘yung conditioning sa gyms within five to seven days,” said Marcial

    “Kailangan ding mag-pa-test lahat ng players at trainers mga at least three days before practice,” Marcial pointed out.

    The players would have to make do with such conditioning practices while waiting for government to lower the quarantine level from the GCQ currently in place to MGCQ, which should allow scrimmages.

    The PBA is hoping that by September at the earliest the rest of the Philippine Cup, put on hold since March 11, would resume once the government allows team sports to be played.