Marcial plan for PBA teams' return to workouts seeks board approval

June 3 ------ THE PBA board convenes on Wednesday to tackle proposed guidelines and measures that can be adopted for the possible resumption of team practices during the meeting at the league office in Libis, Quezon City. Commissioner Willie Marcial will lay down before the board his proposal on protocols that should be followed to enable the 12 ballclubs to return to workouts under the government's General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

Marcial said the plan is to allow teams to work out without five-on-five scrimmages and drills. “Shooting, jogging, stretching, exercises, mga ganun lang muna. Siyempre practice social distancing and other health protocols, like yung mga gyms kailangan talagang i-disinfect,” the commissioner said. “Yung workout lang talaga muna. Kahit paano malaking tulong na rin yun para sa mga players and mga teams,” added Marcial, noting the entire league has been on a break for about three months now since the season was suspended last March 11.

If given the green light by the board, Marcial said he’ll submit the plan for approval by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). “May mga naka-ready na rin naman tayong protocols during games, pero ito na lang muna protocols for practices. Unti-unti lang muna,” added the commissioner. League chairman Ricky Vargas will personally attend the meeting, the first time the board will convene after holding three previous meetings via video conferencing. Other board members who confirmed their presence are San Miguel’s Robert Non, Rod Franco of NLEX, Atty. Mamerto Mondragon of Rain or Shine, Alaska’s Dickie Bachmann, Alfrancis Chua of Barangay Ginebra, NorthPort’s Eric Arejola, and Columbian Dyip’s Bobby Rosales.

Those who won’t make it would still be present through video conference. Instead of the regular conference room where the board usually convenes during meeting, league officials will be transferring to the bigger referees’ viewing room so they can properly observe social distancing. “Mas malaking yung viewing room namin. Halos double the size ng conference room,” said Marcial. Per IATF guidelines, athletes are already allowed to resume several activities under General Community Quarantine (GCQ). League officials are hoping the situation gets better and pave the way for the continued easing of the quarantine restrictions within the National Capital Region (NCR) and eventual transition to new normal.