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GAB health officer explains 'no high-5' rule in hoop bubbles

Aside from stringent health protocols, both the PBA and the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 employ the FIBA rules on bubbles. Chooks-To-Go
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Professional basketball is back in the Philippines!

After a seven-month halt caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the PBA returned to play this week.

On the other hand, Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 will commence with its second season next week.

However, as part of health protocols amid the pandemic, stricter measures have been set like bringing all the teams inside a bubble in Angeles for the PBA and Calamba for Chooks 3x3.

But one puzzling inclusion to the protocols is a prohibition on doing high-fives and celebratory hugs or at least in the words of the PBA minimizing it.

While fans may not like it, according to Games and Amusements Board health and safety official Kara Mallonga, it is necessary.

"Actually this was patterned after FIBA because even FIBA prohibits that," Mallonga said on Wednesday during the pre-tournament press conference for the Chooks 3x3 President's Cup.

The leagues that resumed action amid the pandemic are adhering to the FIBA rules on holding games amid the pandemic.

The PBA made a modification by requiring those sitting on the benches to wear their face masks, especially the players not on the court.

All eyes, however, are on the Chooks 3x3 "Calambubble" as the President's Cup is part of the Gilas Pilipinas 3x3's preparations for the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year.

"If we’re going to be a qualifier for that, so might as well practice as early as now," Mallonga further said. "A lot of people don’t understand but kasi training yan, so we also provided Chooks the FIBA rules. That’s why they adopted it."

Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol, two members of the national team, will play for pre-conference favorite Zamboanga City-Family's Brand Sardines alongside Troy Rike and Santi Santillan.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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