PBA chairman Ricky Vargas can’t be any more confident about the league resuming its stalled 45th season before the year ends.
The TnT Katropa governor’s optimism stemmed from Wednesday’s board meeting where the proposal made by Commissioner Willie Marcial on guidelines to be used by member teams to be able to resume training was unanimously approved.
The protocols will now be submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for approval.
While Vargas is hoping for a positive response from the agency, the proposed measures alone are giving him enough enthusiasm of salvaging the PBA season.
“You know kapag basketball player ka, hindi naman puwedeng work from home ka. Part of your work is to play and be on the court,” he said. “Of course, we have to assure the players that they will be safe.”
Vargas said seeing his fellow league governors in the flesh for the first time in three months gave him more hope that the season can be saved.
“It gives you hope that you can open up,” he said following an impromptu online press con after the board meeting. “But let’s take it one step at a time.”
“I’m more upbeat now.”
After a series of board meetings through video conferencing since the outbreak of the pandemic, Vargas personally met the other governors at the league office in Libis to discuss the prepared guidelines and protocols Marcial and his staff laid down.
The former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president said the atmosphere inside the PBA viewing room was light-hearted.
“I felt everybody was eager to start working and go back to the court and have the PBA branding as soon as possible,” said Vargas “We all wanted to see the PBA to come back.
“But we're also one to say that it has to be safe, it has to be safe not only to our players and their families, but also to the fans if we do go that far.”
Vargas was joined in the meeting by Marcial, vice-chairman Bobby Rosales, Meralco’s Al S. Panlilio, also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), Rod Franco of NLEX, Robert Non of San Miguel, Richard Bachmann of Alaska, Barangay Ginebra’s Alfrancis Chua, Mamerto Mondragon of Rain or Shine, NorthPort’s Eric Arejola, deputy commissioner and operations manager Erick Castro, league counsel Atty. Melvin Mendoza, and accounting supervisor Odessa Encarnacion.