SOME sports activities are breaking out of their pandemic-imposed haitus around the world, fanning hopes it will be the PBA’s turn soon.
League commissioner Willie Marcial wants everybody to proceed with caution, however, maintaining it is still too early to tell if the outbreak is contained and that the country’s concerned agencies are the only ones who should give the only go-signal that matters.
“Medyo marami pa rin kasing cases of infection kaya waiting pa rin tayo,” said Marcial.
“Depende lahat iyan sa maraming factors,” added Marcial. “Hangga’t hindi contained itong (COVID-19) virus, wala pang sure na gamot at iyung mga agencies led by the Inter-Agency Task Force) IATF, waiting pa rin tayo.
Marcial spoke after the government last Tuesday declared the National Capital Region under a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine until May 31 due to the current health crisis.
The PBA chief said he agrees with the decision as it and other government measures could help subsequently pave the way for sports activities such as the PBA to resume at the soonest possible time like what some major leagues in other parts of the world are doing.
“May mga NBA teams na nagbukas na ng practice facilities nila at posibleng mag-resulta sa pag-resume ng NBA season,” related Marcial.
“Pati ‘yung Major League Baseball malamang magbukas na ulit sa July, tapos ‘yung football naman sa Europe mag-re-resume na rin. Kaya lahat ng mga ito kahit paano nagbibigay ng pag-asa sa atin na mare-resume natin ‘yung season ng PBA.”
The shutdown since March 11 is costing the PBA more than P40 million a month, but Marcial said the teams’ representatives to the Board are in no hurry.
“The board decision is to wait until August,” Marcial pointed out. “Medyo matagal pa yon. Pero hopefully, by that time, medyo okay na and allowed na ang gathering for a sports event, like the PBA.”
If ever the green light is indeed given, Marcial said he will give the teams about a month to get back into game-shape as the league tries to salvage at least one conference, the stalled Philippine Cup, this season.
“Iyung guidelines du’n sa back-to-training baka ihalintulad natin sa NBA, iyung naka-face mask trainers at coaches, five players lang ang pinakamarami per hour sa gym in one training facility,” explained Marcial.
“Pero, iyun nga, maraming kailangang mangyari bago natin magawa mga iyon.”