TNT plans own mini-bubble in Batangas

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    IF PLANS don’t miscarry, TNT would have a leg up over the rest of the field once the PBA is allowed to return to the practice gyms.

    According to a very reliable team insider, the KaTropa are eyeing to mimic the NBA and go on a mini-bubble of their own should they be allowed to do so by concerned agencies.

    “Nakalatag na ‘yung plano,” said the source. “Mag-se-set up ng parang training camp sa isang lugar outside Metro Manila and do not only conditioning and workouts there but also full team scrimmages.”

    The only thing being awaited, added the source, is the approval to the letter of request team management sent to the IATF coursed through the PBA.

    “Ang key d’yan, makuha iyung go-signal and the team hopes to do that by including all the stringent health and safety protocols to be implemented there,” said the insider.

    “Pero ‘yun nga, kahit GCQ o MGCQ lang ‘yung pupuntahan, depende pa rin iyan du’n sa approval and we just have to wait for that.”

    Should it be given the green light, TNT stands to gain a huge advantage over the other PBA teams which could only do non-contact conditioning and workouts for alternating small groups once allowed to do so by the IATF.

    Metro Manila and its environs are currently under MECQ until Aug. 18, prohibiting the opening of gyms and other like sports facilities.

    The quarantine level is expected to be lowered by Aug. 19, after which all the PBA players are mandated to undergo pre-practice swab tests on Aug. 20 and 21 so that they could return to the practice gyms on Aug. 24 at the earliest.

    The PBA plans to write a letter of request to the IATF in late August or early next month for full scrimmages to be allowed so that the mid-October target date for the season resumption could be met.

    TNT team officials could not be contacted for verification, but the insider insisted the plan has been in place since the months right after the coronavirus forced the PBA to suspend operations last March 11.

    “Na-pu-put aside lang dahil nagbaba ng quarantine levels nu’ng June,” related the source.

    “Pero nu’ng nag-MECQ rito sa Metro Manila ulit nasa team priorities na ulit siya. Masyado kasing magiging masikip ‘yung timeline ng resumption.”

    The concept is pretty much like what the NBA has been implementing in its restart that has all teams competing for spots in the playoffs locked up at the Disney World in Orlando, Florida, under strict health protocols.

    TNT plans to do the same in its target venue, reportedly the Splendido Hotel in Batangas, where it would stay for at least two weeks.

    “Doon kumpleto, may gym, may weights room, may basketball court,” said the source. “It would be a controlled environment, walang puwedeng pumasok na iba. Lahat ng health and safety protocols susundin.”