STIFFER sanctions await PBA players, coaches, and personnel who will violate health protocols during the closed-circuit practice sessions that got clearance from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Friday.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial warned that he is looking at six-figure penalties and suspensions as long as 10 days for violators in practices to be held in areas under GCQ (general community quarantine) and MGCQ.
“Lalakihan natin ‘yan. Hindi lalayo diyan ‘yung penalties natin sa Clark na P100,000. Suspension for 10 days. Malaki ‘yan .. kasi gusto nga natin maging successful,” said Marcial in a press briefing on Friday.
“Hindi naman para sa kanila lang ‘to. Para sa kapwa nila players, kapwa nila teammates, kasama sa team, pamilya nila, at sa pamilya din ng mga team members nila. Sana maintindihan nila,” added Marcial.
Under a closed-circuit set-up, members of PBA teams will only be allowed to travel from home to the practice venue and back while under close monitoring.
Marcial said players, coaches, and other team staff must declare their whereabouts especially if they are in areas outside their home and practice venue.
“Meron tayong app na imo-monitor natin sila kung saan sila pumupunta. Honesty lang talaga. Oras na malaman namin na hindi nila ni-log o may pinuntahan sila, nahuli namin, may pruweba kami na nilabag nila ‘yung protocols natin, suspension, fine o both ang ibibigay natin,” Marcial warned.
The league is willing to make exemptions on essential travel and emergencies, Marcial said, so long as there are valid excuses and these are officially declared.
“Sabihin lang sa amin. May katumbas na protocol ‘yan. Hindi naman puwedeng emergency, hindi ka na lalabas. Sabihin mo lang sa amin.”
The PBA is seeking to conduct practices for a month before facing the IATF again for the go-signal to start the season, Marcial said.
“Tinitignan namin practices, isang buwan. Siguro by June o baka later part of May, dahan-dahan na natin pag-aaralan at kakausapin,” said Marcial.
Marcial said the practices will serve as a gauge once the PBA applies for permission to start the season.
“Importante ‘yung scrimmages na malinis. Importante na ang scrimmages, walang magpa-positive. Kung meron man, sana wala, mga isa o dalawa lang, para makita ng Task Force at GAB na sumusunod tayo at kaya nating ilaro ito,” Marcial said.