Pro sports is now back on, as the Joint Administrative Order by the Games and Amusement Board, the Department of Health, and the Philippine Sports Commission for the resumption of practices was signed Monday.
With this, PBA and Philippines Football League ball clubs are now expected to buckle down to work anytime soon. Both leagues made efforts in its bid for return to practices after submitting their own set of protocols to the IATF.
The PBA, which suspended its 45th season last March 11, was set to hold its per-batch team workouts last July 22. The resumption was delayed, though, as the league was waiting for the implementing guidelines to be signed.
GAB chairman Abraham Mitra, PSC chair William Ramirez, and DOH secretary Francisco Duque signed the JAO.
“Finally, the wait is over — the JAO has been signed. Last month, I and Commissioners Ed Trinidad and Mar Masanguid approached the IATF and DOH to ask for their guidance on how to safely reboot the operations of professional sports in the country.
“Chairman Ramirez, Secretary Duque, and I have already signed the joint admin order. We are so happy and excited that finally after more than four months our professional football and basketball players can now shake off some pounds they may have acquired during the quarantine,” Mitra’s statement read.
Aside from the PBA and the PFL, also expected to return to training is Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, which has also submitted its own set of health guidelines, including plans of holding such via the bubble method.
For pro basketball and football, a maximum of five players can hold trainings in areas under general community quarantine while a maximum of 10 can practice in modified general community quarantine places.
This development has made hopes for pro sports’ return high as it has been longed for by many fans since the country began dealing with the dreaded novel coronavirus pandemic some four months ago.