PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial will meet with Batangas City authorities on Saturday, as the league south for a possible location for its member teams’ practices in preparation for the 46th season.
The entire province of Batangas is under general community quarantine (GCQ), which permits professional ball clubs to work out in small groups.
Practices remain prohibited in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna — otherwise known as NCR Plus Bubble. These provinces are still under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
“Pupunta ako sa Batangas by Saturday, baka makasama si Gov. Alfrancis [Chua]. Magkikita kami ni Congressman at ni Mayora [Beverley] Dimacuha doon, kakausapin na namin,” Marcial said in virtual presser Thursday.
“Kakausapin din namin ‘yung mga gym. Kasi alam ko may tatlong wooden court doon eh, so baka pwede mag-practice ‘yung mga teams.”
The idea of taking practices in Batangas City came from Barangay Ginebra San Miguel governor Alfrancis Chua and some Gin Kings. They then cited its proximity from the metro through SLEX and STAR Tollways.
There would therefore be no need to stage a bubble setup for the proposed practices as teams can easily go to and fro.
“Sa travel now, ‘pag ginamit mo ang SLEX, ang lapit lang ng Batangas eh. Sobrang lapit na lang. Sandali lang andun na, Practice tapos uwi sila,” said Chua, also the sports director of the San Miguel Corporation.
“Tiga-Batangas ako. From Magallanes hanggang sa dulo ng Batangas, one hour 15 minutes, kaya mo. Or one hour, 30 minutes,” seconded Marcial. “So medyo mas maganda, kaya pupunta kami sa Sabado roon.”
Ask if SMC teams will take the Batangas City route, though, Chua said they will if they prefer.
“Kakausapin ko lahat,” the former bench tactician said. “‘Pag gusto ng coaches and players, we’ll do that.”
Still, the league isn’t restricting teams from picking a location under more lenient lockdown measures as the venue of their practices, so long as they comply with the needed requirements, Marcial said.
“Kung gusto nila mag-practice sa MGCQ, o kung kahit saan — one, kailangan namin ng letter ng Task Force; two, kailangan ng letter ng JAO; three, kailangan ng letter ng LGU; four, kailangan namin ‘yung protocols.”