Photo by Jamie Velasco/Courtside PhilippinesUPDATES25
Marcial stresses PBA will obey government guidelines, protocols
by Reynald Magallon, May 06, 2020 4:30pm
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial reiterated that the league is ready to obey the government guidelines and protocols during the health crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19.
In fact, that was the reason why the PBA board decided to wait until August before deciding on the fate league's 45th season.
The PBA chief bared that the league resumption will greatly depend on when the government will allow mass gathering.
However, Health officials and members of the Inter-Agency Task Force have been saying that it may still take some time before the authorities allow mass gathering even if the ongoing Enhanced Community Quarantine be reduced to General Community Quarantine.
On Tuesday, Health undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire admitted it will be hard for sports events to resume without a vaccine to COVID-19.
"Malungkot. But that's the reality, mahirap ibalik agad ang sports because for one, there's the social distancing issue to be followed," said Marcial in a report by PBA.ph.
Aside from the prohibition of mass gathering, authorities have also been strictly imposing social distancing, something, that cannot be done in a contact sport like basketball.
Even individual sports are unlikely to resume even under the GCQ.
Vergeire said not all individual sports will be allowed even if the ECQ is lifted. That was her response to the suggestion of Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez to allow resumption of individual sports.
Marcial said he understands the sentiment of the health authorities, saying that athletes maybe, can endure the virus due to their much better health and immune system but that would still put their families at risk.
"One can say our players are strong enough to be hit by COVID-19. Pwedeng kayanin ng mga malalakas nilang katawan pero paano pag-uwi nila sa bahay at dala-dala nila ang virus, baka ang pamilya nila tamaan. And that's a big, big concern," explained Marcial.
The league honcho also bared that playing behind closed doors won't be an option as they will still gather around 300 individuals in one venue.
"Kahit ang double-header natin, nagdra-draw ng mass gathering," said Marcial while insisting that it would be better for the league to just wait until August before coming up with a definite decision.
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