PBA teams return to training, team scrimmages prohibited

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PHILIPPINE Basketball Association (PBA) teams resumed training early this month but only for physical conditioning at a five-player-at-a-time program, according to Commissioner Willie Marcial.

Scrimmages, Marcial stressed, are restricted.

“There should be an approval or a permit for a team to hold scrimmages from the local government unit [LGU] where it’s gym is located,” Marcial said on Friday. “No scrimmages for now.”

Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chairman Abraham Kahlil “Baham” Mitra also said an LGU’s approval is necessary because the National Capital Region remains under general community quarantine.

Mitra emphasized that scrimmages and games are only allowed in LGUs under modified general community quarantine.

“The PBA already formally informed us of their return-to-training program and we are now about to inspect the teams’ venues,” Mitra said.

The 12 teams will be using 13 facilities spread out in Quezon City, Pasig City, Mandaluyong, Parañaque City and San Juan.

CHUA EYES 3-YR EXTENSION WITH PHOENIX

Justin Chua wants to remain as a Fuel Master.

JUSTIN CHUA,  a prime candidate for the Most Improved Player award in the shortened Season 45, wants to remain with Phoenix Super LPG alongside Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins and Matthew Wright for the next three years.

The 6-foot-7 Chua, one of the cornerstones in Phoenix semifinal run in the Philippine Cup, eyes a fresh three-year new deal with Phoenix after his contract expired last December 31.

“Phoenix is still my top priority and I am hoping to secure a three-year contract,” Chua, 31, told BusinessMirror on Thursday.

Chua said he is willing to remain a Fuel Master even though he won’t sign the maximum P420,000 a month for his contract.

“I understand the situation especially now we’re in desperate times because of the pandemic,” he added.

The former Ateneo Blue Eagle was SanMig Super Coffee’s (now Magnolia) 10th overall pick in the 2013 draft. He became a journeyman after that and made the rounds in five teams—Northport, San Miguel Beer, Barako Bull, Meralco and TNT KaTropa before settling down in Phoenix in 2017.

He improved a lot in Season 45 where he averaged 13.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 11 games.

Chua is one of Coach Topex Robinson’s reliable big men who could score from the perimeter and even beyond the arc.

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