ONE big obstacle has been cleared and all PBA teams can now proceed with their conditioning and workouts starting today in preparation for the resumption of the season.
According to Commissioner Willie Marcial, the Games and Amusement Board has ironed things out with the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases regarding the use of the practice gyms and the teams can now proceed with their compact sessions in earnest.
Under the IATF guidelines, sports facilities, including gyms, in areas under GCQ are barred from opening. GCQ is currently being enforced until the end of the month in Metro Manila, where all of the teams’ gyms are located, but GAB chairman Baham Mitra apparently cleared the air with the IATF brass.
“Nagpapasalamat talaga kami kay chairman Baham dahil naayos niya ‘yung malaking tanong kung papayagan ba tayong makapag-practice sa mga gyms,” said Marcial.
“Ngayon talagang tuloy na tuloy na ang pagpapa-kundisyon ng mga players natin,” he added.
Among the gyms to be used for practice are Ronac and Upper Deck while other teams will hold their sessions inside subdivisions after getting permission from the homeowners’ associations.
Each of the teams have divided their players into at least three groups for the non-contact practices, which will be split into sessions composed of four players, one trainer and one safety officer each.
Each venue will be disinfected in-between sessions.
So far, reports have it that all players of the 12 teams got negative results in their mandatory pre-practice swab tests last week.
Further tests on the players will still be done after every two weeks in the course of the conditioning-workouts, which Marcial hopes would last in about a month’s time.
Even before the practices are done with, Marcial intends to write the IATF a letter that would allow the teams to engage in full-contact scrimmages prior to resuming the season starting mid-October.