Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) teams can still practice despite the fact that Metro Manila is under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) once again, according to PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial.
Last July, the PBA along with other football organizations were given the green light to practice by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) after being shut down for four months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
But just when things are looking up for the top basketball league in the country, another delay forced them to adjust everything to abide the rules and regulations of the MECQ.
Last Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte agreed to implement the MECQ from August 4 to 18 on Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna after the Philippine medical community appealed for tighter quarantine restrictions since the number of cases of newly infected keeps on increasing despite being under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
This means that the PBA once again has to put on hold all practices of the 12 teams.
“Adjust kami. Adjust kami ng testing hanggang August 18 tapos yung resulta pa. Titignan namin kung papano,” said Commissioner Marcial in a phone interview.
However, Commissioner Marcial stated that teams could still practice in places not under the MECQ. That’s why he is expecting teams to have their own “bubble” to continue practicing despite the MECQ in Metro Manila.
“Baka yung ibang teams. Kasi pinapayagan naman tayo maglaro outside MECQ. Tulad ng Quezon, Batngas, Subic. Baka may ibang teams na gagawa nun,” added Commissioner Marcial. “Basta mag paalam sa GAB. Tapos yung protocols natin, may swab testing. Lahat (dapat sundin). Tapos tignan natin yung protocols na idadagdag nila. Tapos kailangan makipag usap samin.”
The head of the PBA added that only practices are allowed if teams were to decide to train outside Metro Manila, and that no scrimmages are allowed.
Although the PBA don’t have a bubble to host their games in like the NBA in the USA, giving an alternative to the teams to continue their practices is a great response to the crisis engulfing the country.
There is no word yet on when actual games might be played, but this is a start.