PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino is not in favor of the resumption of team sports events during the quarantine which a few national sports associations (NSAs) are pushing for.
Seven national sports associations (NSAs), some from team sports and ball games. are calling for the restart of their sports in phases beginning with practices. The NSAs are from basketball, football, volleyball, rugby football, track and field, karate and gymnastics.
During Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, Tolentino indicated his opposition to the resumption of team sports competitions due to health hazards.
“I might recommend but it’s up to the IATF kung papayagan nila. Pero personally, parang mahirap pa eh ‘yung team competition,” said Tolentino during the PSA Forum held via video conference for the first time.
“‘Yung tennis, ‘yung malayong distance, puwede. Pero ‘yung group, nakakatakot pa eh,” said Tolentino.
So far, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) has allowed indoor and outdoor non-contact sports and fitness activities under the general community quarantine (GCQ) such as running, tennis and golf.
Nevertheless, the seven NSAs are planning to submit a position paper on plans to reboot under the "new normal." Their plan is to resume practice for at least a month and see what happens afterwards.
Tolentino, though, noted that the issues with testing large groups for team events.
“Una ‘yung testing natin, hindi ganun karami. Nandiyan pa lahat, hindi pa nakikita ‘yung asymptomatic. Mahirap na magsisi sa bandang huli. Puwede namang mag-antay unless na ‘yung tournament para sa qualifying,” said Tolentino.
Meanwhile, despite the relaxed rules on sports activities, the POC president urged all national athletes to stay home even during GCQ.
“Ang iniinsist natin sa mga NSAs during the pandemic, stay at home. Wala ng iba. ‘Yun ang pinaka-gold medal natin. Stay home and to be alive and safe. ‘Yun lang ang tanging goal natin. GCQ na tayo. Nakakatakot pa rin. Ang pinakamaganda pa rin is stay home kahit hindi kailangan unless necessary,” Tolentino said.