The league already sent a formal memorandum on all 12 teams requiring their players to be fully vaccinated before allowing to suit up in the season-ending meet set to kick off on Dec. 8 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
PBA on vaccination
And SPIN.ph learned at least four Fil-foreign players have yet to get jabbed for COVID-19 for personal reasons.
“We can’t force them. It’s their choice,” said one league official, who refused to be named however.
The NBA does not mandate its players to get vaccinated, although a vast majority have already received their respective jabs.
Those unvaccinated players, though, are subject to stricter health and safety protocols, including daily testing.
Some states also required players to be vaccinated in order to play as in the case of New York where Irving’s team, the Brooklyn Nets are based.
Irving, 29, is among the NBA stars who opted not to be vaccinated, saying "this is about my life and what I am choosing to do," during an Instagram Live posted just before the start of the season.
In doing so, the 6-foot-2 guard out of Duke has not been given the go-signal to play for Brooklyn by Nets management until he complies with the city’s vaccine mandate for COVID-19.
Irving has also lost significant amount of money with every game he's missing for the Nets.
The same dilemma could face those PBA players or even team staff who would not adhere to the new health guidelines requiring them to be fully vaccinated before being allowed to play.
“Kahit sa practice hindi sila makakapunta pag hindi ka vaccinated. And siyempre, hindi rin sila makaka-suweldo,” added the source, stressing the league policy about "no play, no pay."
Even imports should be fully vaccinated as part of the league requirements for them to play this conference.
“I’d like to see everybody vaccinated. So if not vaccinated, my suggestion is that they not be allowed to play, including the imports. All imports should be vaccinated,” said Board Chairman Ricky Vargas in a recent guesting in the online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
“Let’s also respect the rights of those vaccinated.”
The league adopted the measure on players’ vaccination following the order coming from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
While cases of COVID-19 is currently on the downswing in the country, government and health officials are currently on the lookout for the highly infectious new coronavirus strain – the Omicron variant – where cases had been detected in Europe, Israel, Hong Kong, and Southern Africa.
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