SMC’s PBA players test negative for COVID-19

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    SAN Miguel Corp. yesterday said all players belonging to its three PBA teams are free from COVID-19 following testing conducted recently.

    SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said the players of San Miguel Beermen, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, and Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok have undergone testing as part of SMC’s efforts to test about 70,000 in its workforce, including third party providers, in preparation for the reopening of its facilities nationwide.

    “We are happy to report that all of our basketball players tested negative from the virus,” said Ang, who decided to put up a PCR-testing facility and laboratory right at the company premises to reduce the strain on government health facilities that are currently conducting and processing COVID-19 tests.

    Ang added that while sports, particularly the PBA, is an important fixture in the country, the prevention of the spread of the virus should be carefully considered before any decision to resume contact sports in particular.

    “We defer to the government’s wisdom and decision on when team-based leagues like the PBA will return especially if people’s lives are at stake. While we all miss the PBA, we need to first create a safe environment to limit the spread of the virus,” he said.

    He added the PBA can be part of the movement for recovery efforts and one way to do it is to consistently test everyone involved in the league.

    Ang said that as it has always done in the past, the company will continuously monitor the health of its players and the rest of the employees and assured that existing health packages are more than sufficient to cover them and their families.

    “Our players and employees have nothing to be worried about as we have assured that they will continue to receive their salaries and health benefits. And we have constantly reminded our players as well as other employees to strictly follow health protocols during this time,” he added.

    Ang has assured the needed protocols will be enforced should training for its players resume in the coming months. Currently, SMC has strictly implemented workplace safety measures like physical distancing, wearing of protective equipment, frequent hand washing, and conducting temperature checks at its offices and facilities across the country.