PBA teams and other professional clubs are still not allowed to hold scrimmages in Metro Manila even if the capital will be placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
That was the clarification made by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), pointing out that restrictions remain heightened despite the return to GCQ of the metro and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
The reclassification of NCR Plus as per the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) was announced by Malacañang Thursday night.
“Sa Manila ngayon ay GCQ with heightened restrictions. Bawal pa rin po ang scrimmages,” said GAB information officer Lorraine Rodriguez in a virtual press conference the day after the Palace’s announcement.
Under the aforementioned quarantine classification, among those which are prohibited to open are recreational venues including indoor sports courts, spoiling the plans of PBA clubs to conduct full practices in Manila.
“Dahil sarado mga gym, kahit may clearance ng IATF na mag-train under GCQ, wala pa rin,” GAB official Rodil Manaog said.
With this, the league’s member teams may now have to go somewhere else with more permissive lockdown measures to be able to train in preparation for Season 46, which is targeted to open next month.
The PBA, fortunately, has two LGUs that have opened its doors for them. There is Batangas City, the first to agree to host the teams, and then there’s Ilocos Norte as per the invitation of Governor Matthew Manotoc.
“‘Yung PBA ganado na maglaro,” GAB Chairman Baham Mitra said. “Meron lang konting proseso na dadaanan. Katok muna tayo sa LGU. Maraming teams sa Batangas ata magpa-practice. NLEX, TNT, at Meralco sa Ilocos naman.”
With regards to the supplemental guidelines to the Joint Administrative Order (JAO), Mitra said that the GAB is just waiting for the signature of Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“Hinihintay lang natin ang approval ng supplemental JAO. Waiting na lang sa pirma ni Sec. Duque,” the amiable executive said.