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GAB asks Blackwater Elite to explain resumption of practice as approved guidelines not yet signed

The Elite have reportedly begun practicing without the formal green light from GAB. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Games and Amusements Board has called upon the management of the Blackwater Elite to explain why they reportedly resumed their practices even if GAB, the Philippine Sports Commission, and the Department of Health have not yet signed the joint administrative order regarding the practice protocols.

"The joint admin order of GAB, PSC, and DOH has not yet come out, and they violated the restrictions," GAB chairman Baham Mitra said on Wednesday, pertaining to the omnibus guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on safety protocols.

In a national television interview, Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy claimed that some of the team's players returned to training.

While the IATF has already approved the resumption of practices among professional teams, PBA and PFL clubs as well as the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3-backed Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 cannot immediately go back to training amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the JAO is needed.

According to Mitra, GAB will hand sanctions to the team for the said infraction.

He added that the PBA has also taken notice of Blackwater's hurried return to practice and is also expected to mete out sanctions.

According to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, teams can only resume practices by July 22.

"Possible fines and suspensions will be issued," Mitra bared the penalties that the Elite will incur.

In a letter sent to Blackwater governor Silliman Sy, Mitra is giving the team three days from the time of reception as to why it should be spared from sanctions.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_