More PBA teams have returned to the hardwood this Thursday in Batangas City, finally resuming their preparations for the 2021 season.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said that eight ball clubs have gone to the province down south to plunge back into action after weeks of virtual workouts due to the circumstances brought about by the ongoing pandemic.
A total of nine teams have decided to train in Batangas as scrimmages remain prohibited in Metro Manila and the provinces under NCR Plus. The region was reverted to GCQ last week, but with ‘heightened restrictions.’
And under the said quarantine classification, recreational venues such as indoor sports courts aren’t allowed to operate, thus affecting the teams’ plans.
“Kanina simula na. Walong teams ‘yun. Bukas magsa-siyam na ‘yun, kasi nandoon na rin si Blackwater,” Marcial told Tiebreaker Times.
The PBA also released photos of teams in action, such as reigning Philippine Cup champions Ginebra training at the Lyceum International Maritime Academy.
Terrafirma and Magnolia also held their practices there.
NorthPort, meanwhile, held its workouts at the Batangas City Sports Center, which is the PBA’s usual venue when it holds games in the province.
While nine teams are in Batangas, the three MVP-owned teams are up north. Meralco and TNT are both in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, while NLEX is in Clark.
With teams now conducting full practices, the 20-percent salary cut imposed on players, coaches, and the league staffers have been lifted.
“Noong May, 18 naglabas na tayo ng memo,” said Marcial, who announced the pay cut back in April.
“Babalik na sa normal.”