The PBA finally got the nod it had wanted.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has approved the league’s request to allow its member teams to hold scrimmages in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
Spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement Friday — a big day for local hoops as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas also received the IATF’s nod to host the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ third window in June.
“Pinayagan din po ng IATF ang mga laro o scrimmages ng mga practice ng Philippine Basketball Association sa mga lugar na general community quarantine at MGCQ subject to the proper health and safety protocols na pagaaralan din muna ng Games and Amusements Board,” he said.
This will definitely bode well for the PBA’s plans to stage Season 46, which was originally scheduled to open back in April until the resurgence of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country threw a monkey wrench on such.
The spike led to the implementation of stricter lockdown measures late last March in Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna, subsequently pausing the team’s per-batch workouts.
But the ball clubs won’t have to worry much about it now with Friday’s huge development, and they only have to look for places under much more lenient community quarantine protocols to finally get back into workouts.
League officials led by Commissioner Willie Marcial are currently in Batangas City conducting inspections on possible practice venues. The city last week agreed to host team workouts since Batangas is under GCQ.
Aside from Batangas City, some teams are also looking at staging their own workouts up North, particularly in Ilocos Norte and in Clark, Pampanga, where the league held its Philippine Cup bubble last year.
The PBA is set to conduct its own press conference later in the day where it is expected to bare its plans for the ball clubs’ return to practice — and possibly its plans to finally get the ball rolling for Season 46.