It has been over three months since the PBA suspended its season due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but it appears that Asia’s pioneering pro league is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel regarding its hopes of plunging back into action.
Though unofficial, Commissioner Willie Marcial said that the league’s ball clubs may be allowed to return to practice by the Inter-Agency Task Force in the event that Metro Manila shifts to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
The region has been placed under general community quarantine since the first day of June. Measures have been relaxed as the government aims to jumpstart the economy that was badly affected during the stricter enhanced community quarantine.
“Sa’kin, unofficial lang, pero baka raw MGCQ. Unofficial ‘yun, balita ko lang. Baka MGCQ,” the amiable executive told Tiebreaker Times via phone call on Tuesday, hours after his dialogue with the players.
“Pero, balita pa lang.”
The commissioner hosted a briefing with the players in the PBA office in Libis, where he discussed the protocols the league shall impose should the IATF approve its request to hold workout sessions.
“Sinabi ko ‘yung protocols for the practices, at ‘pag nag-practice tayo, apatan lang, no scrimmages. Pinakita ko rin ‘yung testing, pinakita ko ‘yung disinfections, at ‘yung social distancing,” Marcial shared.
Marcial hosted the meeting to get the players’ side in the league’s plans to return to practice, at the very least. And he was happy with the responses he received, as the players were all unanimous in their stand to play again the soonest time possible.
“Ang sinasabi nila sa akin, ‘Commissioner, we are all unanimous that we are willing to play and to practice whenever.’ Kaya, nagpapasalamat ako sa kanila, Malaking bagay ito,” said Marcial proudly.
“Matutuwa ang team owners, matutuwa ang governors, at personal akong nagpapasalamat dahol unanimous sila na gusto nila maglaro o kaya mag-practice kung kailan okay na.”
The league remains optimistic of its chances to return, but everything still depends on the decision of the Task Force. The board will meet once more once the IATF gives word on whether the PBA can resume its season or not.