THE WNBL and the NBL are targeting a July 3 start in two modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas.
NBL/WNBL executive vice president Rhose Montreal said the league is looking at what it is calling as an “open circuit” set-up in which participants will travel from home to venue and back but with testing and practicing of health and safety protocols before playing.
“We already had a date supposedly June 26 but because there is a Fiba qualifier next week, the teams decided to give due respect and support our Philippine team. Nag-move na tayo to another date. We are hoping to open WNBL 5-on-5 and sabay na sa NBL in an MGCQ venue and open circuit,” said Montreal on Saturday.
Lucena City will serve as one of the sites for the league’s season.
“We are going to open an open circuit for 5-on-5 in two areas, one in the north and one in the south on July 3,” she added.
The WNBL is set to open its first season as a professional women’s league, while the NBL will also start its first full season as a professional league with homegrown talents from the teams’ respective locality.
NBL vice president for basketball operations Edward Aquino said the league is woring with the players who have yet to obtain their permits from the Games and Amusements Board.
Inspection of the venues are also underway, said Aquino.
“Ginagawa namin ngayon is ‘yung mga venues ay iniinspect na namin. Nag-start na kami last March pero dahil sa pandemic, na-move ng na-move. This Monday, pupunta kami ng Mindoro for inspection and licensing para sa mga tiga-Mindoro. Pagbalik namin, sa Bulacan and Parañaque naman,” said Aquino.
Montreal said majority of the NBL and WNBL teams have already been vaccinated but the league said it will still follow safety protocols in practice and games.
“Sabi ng GAB [Games and Amusements Board] medical, having been vaccinated is not a guarantee for you not to practice safety and health protocols. Ang open circuit is when you travel home to venue, venue to home, but definitely, testing and safety and health protocols will play a vital role in that set-up” said Montreal.
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