The players have the right to refuse participation should the PBA receive the green light from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to resume team practices.
League commissioner Willie Marcial said as much when he was asked about the matter in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum via Zoom.
“Kung ayaw mo, nasa ’yo na ’yun. Karapatan mo ‘yun,” the amiable executive said.
“Pero ‘yung management na kakausap sa’yo kung papaano.”
The league, whose activities have been on hold for almost three months now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been doing its best to gain the approval of the IATF to at least resume team workouts.
Last June 3, the board convened and approved a move to seek clearance from the government to restart player training with strict protocols for the safety of all concerned.
But some players are concerned with the league’s plans of returning to practices, and San Miguel guard Chris Ross was among the first to voice out via Twitter that same day.
“Risking personal and family safety so that we can train now for games that won’t start until the earliest September?!? What’s the rush? No advancement scientifically for the virus.
“I wanna play ball and get back to work as bad as anyone out there but at what risk,” added Ross, who later expressed support for Marcial and the board, believing they will come up with the best possible decision.
Like what Marcial said, it will be up to the player and his team on what their agreement will be. But the players should also be aware of their responsibilities with their ball clubs, he added.
“Right mo naman ‘yun e, pero trabaho mo rin naman na gawin ‘yun,” said Marcial.
Marcial said that there are teams that are adopting a “no play, no pay” policy, citing the San Miguel Corporation-owned teams as an example.
“Katulad ng sinabi ni (SMC sports director and Ginebra governor) Gov. Alfrancis Chua dun sa interview namin nung isang araw, sa kanila no play, no pay,” he said.
“Ganun sila. Parang no work, no pay.”
Speaking of pay, Marcial shared that no reports have reached his office of teams that have stopped paying players their monthly salaries since the league’s suspension.
“Wala pa. Sa pagkakaalam namin. Kaka-board meeting lang namin last Wednesday, wala. Walang nagka-cut, walang nagbabawas, walang hindi nagpapa-sweldo,” he said.
“Ang alam ko lahat ay dire-diretso ang sweldo — hindi lang players, pati mga coaches at mga utilities.”