MANILA – The Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) board of governors will meet to discuss how teams could return to practice amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
While an online meeting has been initially set, the 12 team governors are in unison on having a physical meeting instead at the league’s office in Quezon City as they begin mapping out plans to possibly resume action after the games were suspended due to Covid-19.
In particular, the meeting will focus on how the teams can restart working out and training sessions alongside other activities.
However, Commissioner Willie Marcial said the board would still bring the proposals from the meeting to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) for final approval.
“All these we’ll do with the approval from the government. Hindi kami gagalaw (We will not move) without their approval,” Marcial said in a news release on the PBA website.
The IATF cleared athletes to do some sporting activities during a general community quarantine (GCQ), which Metro Manila is currently under.
The IATF will decide by next week whether to extend the GCQ or impose a modified GCQ, where sporting events can resume provided that arenas can only accommodate at most 50 percent of their seating capacities, for the rest of the month pending a recommendation from the Metro Manila Council.
Meanwhile, Marcial bared that the league is now eyeing an October resumption of the 45th season, although it may just be a single-season tournament.
The PBA board will make a final decision regarding it in August but he said that once a vaccine for Covid-19 has been approved for mass usage, it would factor a lot on whether the season would continue or not.
“Things will be easier to decide on if a vaccine for Covid-19 comes up. The government and all of us hope for it,” he said.
Pharmaceutical firms around the world have been aggressive in finding a cure for Covid-19 with some countries already doing human trials for possible vaccines in the hope of finally making it available by as early as September.
Only one game has been played all season long before Covid-19 interrupted sports actions across the globe.
SMC players free from Covid-19
In a related yet positive development, all players of the three teams owned by San Miguel Corp. (SMC) have tested negative for Covid-19.
The SMC said on Tuesday that Barangay Ginebra, the San Miguel Beermen, and the Magnolia Hotshots remain free from the disease as the results of their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests were revealed.
“We are happy to report that all of our basketball players tested negative from the virus,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said in a statement.
To aid in keeping medical centers from getting overwhelmed due to Covid-19, the SMC put up its own PCR facility and laboratory inside its main office in Mandaluyong.
The SMC even donated PCR and RNA machines to key government hospitals and the Department of Health while putting up testing centers in all the 17 towns in Metro Manila as it helps conduct mass testing.
The SMC also helped in testing the PBA employees for Covid-19 as they went back to work this week. (ia/PNA)