ANGELES CITY – The PBA made another adjustment moving forward inside the Philippine Cup bubble, allowing players to be treated of their injuries outside of Clark Freeport.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said the move was recently approved by the league board under chairman Ricky Vargas, provided treatment of the injury is not available at the nearby Medical City hospital inside the Clark Freeport Zone.
Medical City is the accredited hospital of the PBA here and forms part of the bubble.
League medical committee head Dr. George Canlas will also have to certify if treatment is necessary outside of the bubble.
“Nag okay lahat ng board. Basta yung mga injured (players) na hindi magagamot dito at walang facilities, puwedeng umuwi,” said Marcial. “So ilalabas namin (yung players), tapos pababalikin natin.”
Vince Dizon, president and CEO of Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and deputy chief implementer of the government’s COVID-19 response, is in favor of the move and awaits instructions on the protocol the Clark Development Corp (CDC) will be asked to implement.
Marcial said the protocol could be two ways.
“Dati kasi kapag balikan (sa Clark), within three days bago ka pumunta, kukuhanan ka na (ng testing). Pag negative, puwede ka na pumunta,” he said.
CDC can also adopt the same protocol followed by the PBA where players and personnel are swab tested and observe home isolation for five days before entering the bubble.
“So hindi ko pa alam kung susundin nila yung protocol natin or may bago silang gagawin,” said the commissioner.
The adjustment in the bubble guidelines are being done for the sake of the players especially those who suffered injuries during the course of the tournament.
San Miguel’s Terrence Romeo has exited the bubble after dislocating his right shoulder, while the likes of Alaska’s Kevin Racal (ACL), Jericho Cruz and Roger Pogoy (sprained ankle), and Kib Montalbo (plantar fasciitis) also went down with injuries in the first week of the season restart.
“Hindi pa tayo sanay sa ganitong sitwasyon. Learning experience ito,” said Marcial. “Kung ano ang makabubuti para sa mga players, teams, at siyempre sa mga fans, gagawin natin.”
The move is the second bubble guideline to be revised by the board.
Initially, the board set a deadline for all players and team personnel to be inside the bubble at least by Oct. 10 or risk the prospect of foregoing the season.
The rule has since been relaxed, with late players allowed to enter the bubble anytime as long as he’s part of the team’s official 15-man roster.