Can PBA teams hold scrimmages in Metro Manila should lockdown measures become more relaxed by May 15?
That’s what Commissioner Willie Marcial looks to clarify with authorities, now that the ball clubs have finally been cleared to conduct scrimmages in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved the league’s request Friday through the IATF Resolution No. 144.
“‘Yun ang ikaklaro ko,” said the amiable executive in a virtual press conference held hours after the Task Force’s announcement.
The capital and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are all under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14, and the league awaits whether or not it will be extended.
And if ever those areas — collectively known as the NCR Plus Bubble — will be put under GCQ, then teams won’t have to look for other venues.
“Kunwari binaba na sa GCQ ang Metro Manila, pwede na ba sa Metro Manila? Or pwede na ba sa Rizal? ‘Pag pwede yung dalawa na yun, malamang dun tayo magpa-practice,” said Marcial, now in his fourth year at the helm.
Still, Batangas City remains a viable option for team practices. The city has agreed to host the ball clubs since the province is under GCQ.
The idea of bringing workouts down south was pitched by Barangay Ginebra assistant coach Richard Del Rosario and supported by team governor Alfrancis Chua due to Batangas’ proximity from the metro via SLEX.
“Itong Batangas, pinrepara lang natin kung papano, malay niyo dito tayo mag-practice–baka maglaro pa. Pero as of now scrimmages pa lang, hinahanda lang natin ang options natin na puwede pag-praktisan,” Marcial said.
Marcial and some league officials went to Batangas City Friday to inspect the possible training venues — Batangas City Coliseum, Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas, and Batangas State University.
And the league is satisfied with what they saw.
“Yung sa Batangas Coliseum, nakita naman niyo ‘yun. Nagulat ako sa Lyceum. Sa Lyceum malambot yung court. At two courts. Isang kahoy, isang taraflex. Ang laki. Ang luwang,” said Marcial, himself a proud Batangueno.
“‘Yung Batangas State University, dun unang-unang naglaro ang PBA sa Batangas City. Nandun din ako, so nakita, napaglaruan na natin. Nag-practice ang Ginebra sa Batangas State University nung may out-of-town sila rito.”