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    PBA teams told to address player fears as league looks to move closer to restart

    Jun 7, 2020

    THE PBA is leaving it to management of each team to assure players of the strict safety measures the league will be implementing when practices are finally given the green light.

    Board chairman Ricky Vargas understands the apprehensions of players to get back on court and resume training in the absence of a vaccine for the coronavirus.

    He said it’s all up to the executives of the 12 member teams to discuss with the players the health protocols prepared by the Commissioner’s office in consultation with top health experts.

    “Napag-usapan namin yan, and that will be left to the management of the team. That will be their decision,” said Vargas of the players’ concern which was tackled in passing during a recent PBA Board meeting.

    Vargas added he hasn’t received any objections yet from the players about the plans of the league to resume team practices after the status of the National Capital Region (NCR) has since been lowered to a General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

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    Hopefully, things doesn’t come to such a point, according to the TnT Katropa governor.

    “I hope that does not happen,” said Vargas.

    San Miguel Beer veteran guard Chris Ross raised concerns about the PBA rushing to get teams back to practice when the plan is to restart the season in September.

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    “What’s the rush? No advancement scientifically for the virus. I wanna play ball and get back to work as bad anyone out there, but at what risk?,” Ross posted on Twitter.

    But he said he understands the safety guidelines being done by the league, which he said, “will make the best decision for everyone involved.”

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    Vargas says he understands Ross and the other players concerns.

    “That’s why we should assure the players that they will be safe, and that proper testing will be done,” he said.

    As far as TnT Katropa is concerned, the league chairman said so far none of the team’s players have raised the issue to him or to management.

    “The last time we talk to our players was a week ago, and they said they were all excited to comeback,” said Vargas.

    Commissioner Willie Marcial has set a June 23 dialogue with the players on the safety measures the PBA has submitted to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) for approval as they seek to return to practice.

    Each team will be represented by two players at the meeting.

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