|Professional teams may return to training as early as Wednesday. Dennis Acosta (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--The joint administrative order that will formally clear professional teams to return to practice amid the COVID-19 pandemic could be out by very soon as told by Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra on Saturday.
Mitra said in the sports talk show The Chasedown that the JAO may finally be released in a few days time.
"Siguro [by] Monday, lalabas na yan," Mitra said.
He later said that he already signed the admin order and is just waiting for the signatures of Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez and health secretary Francisco Duque.
Mitra actually told Dugout Philippines on Friday that it was supposed to be released by that time.
However, as it turned out, "inabot ng 4 or 5 ng hapon" as Mitra further said in his The Chasedown interview, leading to the slight delay.
Oftentimes, resolutions done within the said time frame in government offices like the JAO may only be enacted by the next working day.
However, Mitra assured that there was already a "verbal agreement" between GAB, PSC, and the Department of Health regarding the JAO and that the signing is just a formality.
Now signed pending the release, the JAO will clear PBA, PFL, and Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 teams to train again in hopes that they can begin or resume their seasons by September the soonest.
"Siguro mga Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, [may] practice na yan," Mitra further said.
However, while the pro teams will now be finally cleared to practice legally very soon, Mitra bared that GAB had to intervene in some of the clauses made in the submitted practice protocols.
"Akala ng dalawa, kung ano ang sinubmit nila, OK na. We just reminded them, 'Allow us kasi kami ang magre-regulate sa inyo, kaya mag-usap tayo,'" he relayed what he told the PBA and PFL officials.
Mitra then deems the original PBA and PFL proposals still lenient enough at this time.
"Meron kaming nakita na medyo may pagka-lax nang konti," he further quipped.
Mitra first revealed that GAB rejected the proposal of the said leagues to have recovery therapies for the clubs inside the practice facility.
"Pwede na yan sa ibang venue," he continued.
Mitra then cited the case of Blackwater, which the PBA slapped with a hefty PHP100,000 fine for conducting a "shootaround" as what team owner Dioceldo Sy claimed, which is still not yet allowed due to the absence of the JAO.
[Related Story: Blackwater slapped with PHP100K fine for ill-advised practice sesh]
For Mitra, the order of Commissioner Willie Marcial to have the Elite immediately undergo swab testing is a wrong move.
"Mali yun. Mag-swab test sila bago mag-practice, hindi yung nag-swab test sila last week tapos magpra-practice sila this week. Eh di wala rin," Mitra further said. "Parang useless."
Mitra then said that the PFL conceded to GAB's decision but there is still work to be done regarding the case of the PBA.
"OK na kami ng PFL, pero yung sa PBA, we still have some refinements to be made," he further said.
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