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PBA Board upbeat IATF will allow clubs to practice

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Tiebreaker Times PBA Board upbeat IATF will allow clubs to practice Basketball News PBA  Willie Marcial Ricky Vargas PBA Season 45 Coronavirus Pandemic Bobby Rosales

Physical attendance was almost perfect, and everyone expressed optimism that PBA play can resume, starting with the players return to conditioning before the end of June.

“Everyone is upbeat,” said PBA chairman Ricky Vargas shortly after their meeting, where they approved a move to seek clearance from the government for a restart of player training with strict protocols for the safety of all concerned.

“How confident I am? The situation is uncertain. It’s something we’re not in control of. But as we follow the improvement of the situation from ECQ to MECQ to GCQ, and with the businesses starting to reopen, you see more, and it gives you hope.

“Sabi nga ni Kume (Commissioner Willie Marcial), one step at a time, and now is the time to start the conditioning,” he continued.

They remain confident it can be done, hence the preparation of the letter to the Inter-Agency Task Force right after the meeting.

“We’re reaching out to them (IATF), and we’re also having a dialogue with representatives from the teams — most probably two players each,” said Marcial.

“Wala naman scrimmage. It’s a process; dahan-dahan lang. Wala munang games. The proposal is just returning to practice; conditioning,” said vice chair Bobby Rosales.

Teams would be guided by strict protocols, starting with the “no-test, no-practice”.

“Checking of temperature; all health essentials, including alcohol; social distancing; apat (players) per session guided by a safety officer and a trainer; pagkatapos ng session alis agad, walang shower. Then the next batch of six individuals hanggang matapos ang buong teams,” said Marcial, citing some guidelines.

“Idi-disinfect ang practice venue by hospital standard. Pagdating sa venue, kailangan naka-practice uniform na ang players. After practice, may proper disposal ng uniform. Five minutes lang, alis na sa venue.”

Then there’s the strict testing to make sure everyone is safe. “Testing is a must. We have to be concerned na secure ang mga players. At alam nilang they’re free from the disease,” said Vargas.

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The season restart will depend on the situation in August.

“We’ll meet in August to determine if we can save Season 45 with one conference starting in October.”

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