IATF gives PBA go-signal for full team practices in GCQ, MGCQ areas

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the PBA’s request to return to practices, including 5-on-5 scrimmages, in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Commissioner Willie Marcial confirmed the development on Friday during a virtual press conference.

“Ang magandang balita, pinayagan na tayong mag-scrimmage, practices, hindi lang namin alam kung saan – NCR ba, Batangas ba or sa Antipolo. Yun ang liliwanagin namin,” said Marcial.

Scrimmages, however, are still subject to strict health protocols as prescribed by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), the local government, and by the league itself.

Marcial is scheduled to meet with team managers and coaches next week to discuss the protocols for the resumption of practices.

“Ngayon seven days test ka, two days before practice, test ka. Naka-isolation ka rin. Dati, every seven days ang swab testing natin. Ngayon, every 10 days na,” explained Marcial.

“Magtatawag ako ng meeting sa mga coaches, team managers next week, para malaman namin yung mga protocols. Katulad ng sinabi ko, mayroon kaming bagong sistema para sa swab testing. Kailangan seven days before, nag-swab ka, two days before (ng ensayo) na-swab ka at nasa amin yung resulta. Kung walang resulta, hindi makakalaro. So kung seven days, kung magsisimula tayo ng May 10, siguro by May 18, baka magsisimula na tayo ng ensayo,” added the 4th-year commissioner.

Batangas City has agreed to host team practices and has already identified three venues – Batangas Coliseum, Batangas State University, and the Lyceum of the Philippines – Batangas.

“Sa Batangas, unofficially, mayroon na mga five to seven teams ang gustong maglaro dito. Ang alam ko yung TNT, NLEX, Meralco bandang north gusto. So kung MGCQ naman yun, walang problema. Kailangan lang, approval ng JAO, ng GAB at LGUs at yung standard protocols natin,” said Marcial.

“Pwede yung tatlo na yun, para makapag-practice kaagad yung ibang teams. Iro-rotate naman natin. Parang yung ginawa natin dati sa Clark para pare-parehas nila magagamit yung mga courts na yun.”

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