GAB chief Mitra still positive on sports practice resumption despite MECQ return

GAB chief Mitra still positive on sports practice resumption despite MECQ return

Still expect the pro teams to get back in practice soon. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Even if Metro Manila, Cavite, and Laguna have been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine again, Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra believes that this MECQ period will not last long.

Professional teams had their training schedules scratched out after President Rodrigo Duterte put the said provinces back to MECQ on Sunday night.

But Mitra on Tuesday said that he is seeing a better COVID-19 situation by Aug. 18, the time the MECQ is scheduled to end, which would mean Metro Manila, Cavite, and Laguna will return to the more lenient general community quarantine.

"Sa tingin ko, mag-i-improve (ang sitwasyon) at tingin ko, makakapag-practice na tayo in two weeks time," Mitra said in the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

Professional teams based in areas under GCQ can resume their training although in small groups for the meantime.

The PFL plans to hold its season in a bubble at the PFF National Training Centre in Cavite, while Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 is set to have a bubble too in Calamba.

The PBA will decide by September if it will continue with Season 45 or not, but Commissioner Willie Marcial has been hopeful that the season can resume.

Duterte heeded to the call of health workers for a "timeout" by placing the three areas back to MECQ along with Rizal and Bulacan.

But after observing how the people geared up for MECQ too early on Monday, Mitra believes the athletes would not want to contract COVID-19 as much as possible.

"Kung napansin nyo kahapon, parang nag-traffic. Tapos lahat ng bangko at groceries, puno. It looks like nobody wants to get out of their homes in a week or two weeks’ time," he further said. "Tingin ko, na-alarma ang lahat ng tao."

For now, professional athletes residing in MECQ areas can only resort to individual exercises like running and biking for their fitness regime.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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