Pro sports may be affected as 'bubble GCQ' placed in NCR, nearby provinces

A bubble GCQ has been placed in Rizal and four more provinces, which could affect the PBA start and some other pro sports events in the said areas. Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Pro sports action for the summer season might need to go on a waiting game as five areas will be under a stringent version of the regular general community quarantine for the Lenten season.

According to the IATF Resolution No. 104, a copy of which was obtained by Dugout Philippines on Sunday, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite will be under GCQ again even as Metro Manila's GCQ status has been extended for at least four more days due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the said provinces.

Aside from the GCQ regulations, additional restrictions have been placed like a curfew from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. and the suspension of mass gatherings.

The resolution added that the longevity of the so-called "bubble GCQ" is "subject to review upon the expiration of said period," which means the restrictions might still be in place for a longer time if the COVID-19 spike continues.

The bubble GCQ will run starting Monday until Easter Sunday.

This could have a huge impact in the preparations for the pro sports seasons that are scheduled to start this summer.

The PBA is planning to begin its 46th season inside a semi-bubble at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on April 18.

The Games and Amusements Board only allows pro sports events to take place in areas under the least restrictive modified GCQ.

If the bubble GCQ remains in Rizal after April 4, the league might need to postpone its opening yet again.

On the other hand, while the NBL has yet to announce when its new season will start, the IATF resolution will have an impact on the preparation of the teams in both the men's and women's divisions especially in terms of training and tryouts.

The PVL bubble, although it is still set for May, might also be affected as well concerning the training of the participating teams.

Also, the training of PFL powerhouses Kaya Iloilo and United City for the upcoming AFC Champions League is affected by the tightened protocols in Metro Manila.

PFL commissioner Coco Torre told Ian Suyu of The Daily Tribune last month that the league is now eyeing a July start to its new season.

However, despite the new PFL calendar, the new quarantine ruling might affect the other participating clubs' return to training a bit too.

Also to be affected are pro boxing events that are scheduled to happen within the aforementioned provinces especially with the city of BiƱan in Laguna already hosting multiple boxing bubbles already.

One sure pro sport that will be halted for a while, according to the resolution, is cockfighting.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno