Using the decision of a number of countries worldwide which had allowed the return of sports as barometer, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is looking forward, too, to a gradual return of activities it had previously postponed indefinitely due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic more than two months ago.
League commissioner Willie Marcial on Tuesday expressed hope of at least giving member clubs back the opportunity to practice like what South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, the Unites States, to mention a few that’s had, the past week, decided to grant such chance with the end in view of resuming play.
“These countries had given us a hint that we can still save our 45th Season, which was abruptly aborted last March to continue even with only a single conference,” Marcial told this writer in a phone interview.
The PBA commissioner even suggested that if the situation continue to improve, and the restrictions are finally lifted, say in August, “baka makapaglaro na tayo ng (we might be able to resume the games) September.”
“Unti-unting ang balik na gagawin natin (the resumption should be gradual),” Marcial said. “That’s also the plan of the government, gradual return to normal, at ‘yun din ang sinusundan natin (we’re following the same plan).”
“And the first thing we in the PBA should do is set first the guidelines for the return to practice, which we have to recommend,” Marcial pointed out.
“As I have been saying, mahirap naman na isabak nating agad-agad ang ating teams sa laro (it is not advisable to just let the teams resume games). They’ve been idle for quite sometime na halos zero ang activity,” he said.
“Our teams also need to prepare themselves, first to avoid injuries and to satisfy the craving of the fans for good, interesting games,” Marcial explained.
“Under the new General Community Quarantine, allowed na ang gathering ng small group, puwede nating i-suggest na baka naman pwede na rin mag-work out ang teams ng four or five players per session,” said Marcial.
“But before we allow our teams to use their practice venues, we have to make sure those places are disinfected. All the equipment na hahawakan ng mga players natin, dapat disinfected din,” Marcial further said.
The commissioner disclosed that he has been in constant talks with league chair Ricky Vargas and several other members of the board of governors, precisely, to map out moves they will make.
“Another must is that all our players and personnel involved in practices, must, likewise, undergo Covid-19 testing,” he said.
“It’s to make sure that we have a clean bubble, and we have to protect that bubble,” Marcial stressed.
The league’s celebration of its 45th season had actually been started March 8 only to be suspended when the coronavirus threat had blown into pandemic proportion. (Reprinted from Manila Times)