PRISAA, other local events called off

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    THE worldwide spread of the deadly novel coronavirus that began in Wuhan, China continued to take its toll on a slew of sports events involving local athletes both here and overseas.

    Among the latest to cancel was the Private School Athletic Association National Games, scheduled from April 15 to 24 in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. The event was pushed back to 2021 at the same site, according to PRISAA executive director Elbert Atilano.

    “As per pronouncement of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte… PRISAA is postponing the National Games 2020 to 2021 in Tuguegarao City,” Atilano said in statement posted on his Facebook page last Saturday.

    The PRISAA National Games is an Olympic-style sports competition involving collegiate and high school athletes among its member schools nationwide and drew over 5,000 athletes and officials during its 2019 edition in Davao City.

    Philippine Swimming Inc. president Lani Velasco also announced that in the wake of the current critical situation, the PSI Long Course Grand Prix Qualifying Series Area 1 NCR Leg 1 was also put on hold “because we feel it would be imprudent to do so (under present conditions).”

    Velasco said that for clubs and swimmers that had already paid their respective entry fees “your payment shall be credited for the next event.”

    The Philippine Football Federation also announced last Saturday that it was rescheduling the opening of the 2020 season of the Philippines Football League from March 21 to April 18 “tentatively” after Metro Manila was placed on lockdown yesterday to curb the spread of COVID-19.

    Six teams are set to see action in the tournament backed by Qatar Airways, namely, Ceres FC, Global FC, Stallion FC, Global FC, Mendiola FC and the Azkals Developmental Team.

    The Fair Play Foundation, which is engaged in teaching children football in the Payatas district in Quezon City, announced it was also suspending its operations in the area for the next two weeks.

    Philippine Amateur Baseball Association president Chito Loyzaga also informed Malaya Business Insight that the World Baseball and Softball Confederation had scrapped its World Baseball Classic qualifiers scheduled March 13 to 25 in Tucson, Arizona.

    Among those who had been tapped to play for the national squad is former NFL and varsity football star Tim Tebow, who was born in the Philippines of American missionary parents. He is eligible to play for the country under WSBC rules. He currently plays for the farm team of the New York Mets.

    Also cancelled until further notice was the World Skate Open slated April 5-11 in Lima, Peru, an Olympic skateboarding qualifying event, where 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and Tokyo Games hopeful Margielyn Arda Didal was supposed to compete.

    “The event, scheduled April 5 to 11 in Lima, has been suspended due to the provisions of adopted by Peruvian authorities to contain the spread of Covid-19,” World Skate posted on its Facebook page yesterday.