HEALTH protocols in the final window of the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers will be stricter than those adopted in the PBA Philippine Cup bubble.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said the Fiba hierarchy will require all visiting teams to undergo COVID-19 testing 72 hours prior to their departure and then undergo another procedure upon their arrival at the Clark International Airport.
Players and other team members who are going to be found positive will be isolated in a place to be agreed upon by the SBP and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) led by president and CEO Secretary Vince Dizon.
“Depending on the procedure that we will work out with the group of Sec. Dizon, you may be transferred to an isolation facility until you’re all clear again,” stressed SBP executive director Sonny Barrios during a vritual press conference on the Clark sports bubble on Saturday.
Players found positive will have to stay in the country even if it meant being left behind by their team once their campaigns are over.
“If it takes 14 days, even if your team has already departed earlier than 14 days, you will stay in the quarantine place until you’re all clear. That’s how strict the group of Secretary Vince will be. That’s why he keeps on repeating [that] he intends to make it even a safer bubble than what we have,” added Barrios, himself a former PBA commissioner.
Teams that will be tested upon arrival in the country will only have to be isolated at least a day before results are known.
Likewise, all teams will be billeted at one per room at the Quest Hotel.
“It’s one to a room. There’s no room sharing,” said Barrios.
The FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers is adopting the same bubble set-up observed by the PBA in playing out the Philippine Cup, which it successfully hosted by playing games at the Angeles University Foundation gym.
But SBP president Al S. Panlilio said talks are still ongoing with FIBA officials on the protocols to be observed for the final window of the qualifiers set Feb. 18 to 21.
During the second window held in a bubble set-up in Bahrain, teams had to wait two days before knowing their respective COVID-19 results.