PBA teams undergo their second round of swab testing this week as part of the league’s mandatory protocols.
Nine ballclubs are booked for the procedure on Sept. 17 and 18, while the three teams under the San Miguel Corp. umbrella – Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel, and Magnolia - had their testing Wednesday at the SMC headquarters in Ortigas.
To be tested on the 17th are Meralco, Phoenix, Terra Firma, and TnT Katropa, while on the 18th are NorthPort, NLEX, Alaska, Rain or Shine, and Blackwater.
The league has required all 12 teams to be swabbed tested for COVID-19 in compliance with the protocols and guidelines it prepared and duly approved by the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) Group composed of representatives from Department of Health (DoH), Games and Amusements Board (GAB), and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Teams had their first test last Aug. 20 and 21 just days before the Commissioner’s Office officially gave its signal for the start of players’ workouts.
Players who just arrived overseas and others who failed to be tested the first time will be required to do so before being allowed to join their respective teams in their training as in the case of two-time MVP James Yap.
“After ko mag-quarantine kailangan ko pa raw mag-swab test sabi ni (team) manager Jireh (Ibanez). Ok lang naman,” said the 38-year-old Rain or Shine wingman.
Yap had undergone swab testing upon arriving in the country from Italy and is now on the final days of his two-week quarantine period.
The new set of swab testing comes at a time when the league is awaiting the decision of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) on whether 5-on-5 scrimmages will finally be allowed under a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) set up.
Commissioner Willie Marcial and the PBA Board are targeting an Oct. 9 playdate for the season restart.