PBA’s return to practices delayed anew as NCR shifts back to MECQ

Just as the PBA was making the final preparation for the return to non-scrimmage training of the 12 member ballclubs, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the reversion of Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan to the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to 18 due to the continued surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Consequently, Games and Amusement Board chairman Abraham Mitra bared that “the resumption of professional sports trainings will be delayed for a couple of days”.

“At this juncture, we will implement the provisions of the GAB-PSC-DOH Joint Administrative Order; thus, when a particular area is under MECQ, only individual sports or physical activities shall be allowed (e.g. outdoor walk, jogging/running, biking),” said Mitra in an official statement on Monday.

“With regard to the resumption of PBA, Chooks-to-Go 3×3, and PFL’s trainings, there will be a slight delay. But rest assured that the GAB will take advantage of this temporary halt to prepare our stakeholders in order to ensure the safe return of activities related to professional sports,” he added.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said that the league is entirely behind the government’s decision to revert to MECQ.

“Since sinabi na ng government, kung makakabuti sa lahat yan, bakit hindi? So adjust kami at ide-delay lang muna natin ang testing at ia-adjust natin ang practice (of teams),” explained Marcial during an interview with ESPN5.com.

“Lahat naman tayo kinakabahan. Lahat naman tayo aligaga. Hindi lang naman PBA pero lahat ng tao so kailangan talaga ng disipilna ng tao. So kung ano ang sinasabing protocols sundin natin. And sinasabi ko din sa kanila, alam ko excited na sila mag-practice pero para na din sa proteksyon ng lahat na obserbahan (ang health procols) kasi di naman sa ginusto natin ito,” he added.

Marcial also revealed that by September, the board of governors will make a decision whether to proceed or completely scrap the league’s 45th season.

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