Marcial: PBA’s return to training moved back until further notice

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THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has indefinitely moved back its planned return to training—and an eventual return to action—following President Duterte’s announcement that Metro Manila is reverting to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Under MECQ, indoor sports activities are prohibited.

“The government knows what is good for us and we conform with its orders,” PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said.  “We will follow the guidelines and will wait for the next word from them as regards to restrictions on whatever quarantine status we’re in.”

The PBA has put in place return-to-training protocols for its 12 member-teams after the Games and Amusements Board, Philippine Sports Commission and Department of Health got the approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on safety and health policies for professional sports.

But with President Duterte ordering the return of MECQ in Metro Manila and Calabarzon area, the PBA and all other pro and indoor sports leagues, tournaments and activities have to ground to a halt anew.

“We’ll push back the schedule,” Marcial said.

The MECQ takes effect on Tuesday and ends after 14 days. It was reimposed because of the rising positive cases of Covid-19 infections.

Marcial said the MECQ, despite stalling further the league’s plan to revive its 45th season in September or October, should be taken on a positive note.

“The MECQ is only a ‘detour’ and the league will undertake measures to continue training ‘in the right time,’” he said.

The league’s protocols upon its return includes regular testing of all individuals involved with the teams and frequent disinfection of gyms. The PBA’s strict order includes a “home-car-gym-car-home” policy.

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