PBA board sets up guidelines for team practices during COVID-19 pandemic

Once approved, PBA teams can return to practice anytime soon. PBA Media Group (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The PBA board of governors is now ready to submit to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) the protocols it approved regarding the resumption of team practices.

The first physical meeting between the team governors since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the league on Wednesday at the its office in Quezon City resulted in a unanimous endorsement of the guidelines Commissioner Willie Marcial proposed to them.

The protocols will be listed in a formal letter to be given to IATF co-chairmen Karlo Nograles and Francisco Duque, which according to PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas could be made as early as Thursday.

"Sana nga mabigyan tayo ng pagkakataon ng IATF na makapag-practice na," Marcial said in hope.

According to Marcial, the protocols he set are based on the FIBA guidelines for the resumption of training, but he modified it to be stricter.

Only four players, one trainer, and one staff member will be allowed per turn early into the resumption of practices. Then they will quickly depart the practice facility to make way for the next batch of players and staff members.

Vargas and PBA board vice chairman Bobby Rosales then stressed that all the players will undergo testing for COVID-19.

Only those who have already been tested negative for the said virus will be cleared to return for training, which can be done by as early as the end of the month once the proposal has been approved.

The San Miguel Corporation-owned teams have already tested negative for COVID-19, while the players from the MVP Group teams are set to undergo their own testing by next week.

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