THE PBA is hoping that teams can resume practices by July if they get an approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the league is already in the process of sending its letter to the IATF in an effort to be allowed by the task force to at least conduct practices in preparation for the resumption of the 2020 season that was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ibibigay na namin ‘yung letter sa DOH at sa Task Force. Kapag na-receive nila, depende na lang… Sana naman, maka-practice na tayo by July o mas earlier pa,” said Marcial.
Even though Metro Manila is already under the general community quarantine (GCQ), sports activities are still limited to indoor and outdoor non-contact sports and sports facilities and gyms remained closed.
But Marcial on Wednesday laid down the safety protocols the league is planning to conduct which the governors approved during the PBA’s board meeting at its office in Libis, Quezon City.
Marcial expressed confidence that their protocols will meet the standards of the IATF, among them is the strict requirement that all players must be tested for COVID-19.
Once cleared, the PBA is looking at is practicing by batches of six persons, four of which are players, but are only limited to conditioning.
“Kung apat sila, walang dalawahan, walang scrimmages, walang game. Conditioning lang talaga. Biruin mo apat kayo sa isang court. Kaya ‘yung social distancing, magagawa natin,” said Marcial.
For his part, PBA chairman Ricky Vargas said prior representations were already made to the IATF following the letter not just from the league but also from the teams themselves.
“Prior to this letter, there have been some representations already. This will formalize the representation that we made earlier. This letter they will be receiving is not a letter that will surprise them,” Vargas said.
“Our commissioner made intentions of wanting to go back to practice. There are some teams that also made it known to the IATF and to some members of the IATF that they want to go back to practice. This is something that the PBA is now doing and not only by the teams,” Vargas said.