EXPECT 3x3 basketball to be the first sport to return to the grind as the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) has given the green light for Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 League to resume its practices.
"Maganda yung safety protocols that Chooks-to-Go has served us," said GAB chairman Baham Mitra in an online press conference on Wednesday.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 League has formalized its application to be considered as a professional league, which in turn, allows them to enjoy the privileges included in the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) drafted by the Department of Health, Philippine Sports Commission, and GAB for professional leagues seeking to return to normalcy,
"Only professional players and leagues will be allowed to practice. And it helps na konti lang ang players kasi 3x3. Second, they'll be relocating themselves outside of Manila and will be training under isolation. They also said that high-tech contact tracing will be done. So yes, they will be allowed to practice and eventually resume," said Mitra.
The soft-spoken executive even shared his belief that the resumption of the 3x3 tournaments won't be far off once the quarantine regulations loosen up.
"Eventually, when the quarantine levels go down, I believe that the IATF will allow them to do scrimmages," he said.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 have already drafted plans to resume its training, to be held at INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
Players will be confined in this bubble setup as they get a chance to finally train for the first time in five months.
This only means good news for 3x3 players like Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol, members of the Gilas Pilipinas Men's 3x3 team, as they gear up for the 2020 Fiba 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria in May 2021.
Other members of that 3x3 squad are Terra Firma's CJ Perez and San Miguel Beer's Mo Tautuaa.
For the league's part, coach Eric Altamirano said that the organizers are leaving no stones unturned.
"For us, there are three important things na we want to emphasize: the testing; us wanting to educate our players and all the people who will be part of the league; and contact tracing," he said.
"We want to ensure that in the eventuality that there's a positive case, we'll be able to report it and trace the people na naka-interact niya. Yun ang focal point ng protocol. Our challenge is how to implement it and how to be strict."
It's a privilege that comes with a risk, too, and Altamirano said that everyone, from the upper management, to the players, to the staff fully understand that this will only succeed through everyone's cooperation.
"Importante yung discipline," he said. "Pag nagfail ang isa, fail ang lahat. We have a big responsibility na we want to make this work. We feel na if we can make this work, it will give confidence not only for us but sa ibang tao and ibang liga na it's doable."