PBA: Elite fined P100K for ‘practice’

Published July 16, 2020, 4:53 PM

by Jonas Terrado

The Blackwater Elite with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, center, during the 2020 PBA Media Day. (PBA Images)

The PBA on Thursday fined Blackwater P100,000 for holding an unsanctioned practice session even as it plans to investigate comments made by team owner Dioceldo Sy following his decision to sell the franchise.

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said the Elite are also required to undergo swab testing followed by a seven-day quarantine period if results for possible COVID-19 infection came back negative.

But the more pressing concern is the planned probe after Sy made what Marcial described as “serious remarks” when he made known that his franchise is up for sale for a minimum of P150 million.

Sy told some media outlets that the eventual PBA sanction and the possibility of a separate penalty from the Games of Amusements Board for holding the said training session prompted him to decide on putting the franchise on the open market.

Blackwater came under fire after Sy told in Monday’s episode of Sports Page on TV5 that the team held workouts while practicing strict health guidelines that will be implemented by the league.

The comments prompted the PBA to ask Blackwater to provide a written explanation, since the league has yet to receive an official word from the Inter-Agency Task Force that will allow teams to resume practices.

The PBA also upgraded its testing procedure to swabbing as a final requirement before teams can get back to their training facilities.

GAB Chairman Baham Mitra also hinted at possible sanctions on Blackwater since the implementing guidelines approved by the IATF have yet to be signed.

RELATED: ‘Cluster isolation’ to be implemented if one tests positive for COVID-19 in practice

Selling the franchise won’t be easy as it looks for Blackwater since the transaction will need a two-thirds vote from the board.

It was the same voting procedure that enabled the sale of seven franchises since 2001.

Blackwater made the jump from the PBA D-League in 2014 as an expansion team after paying a franchise fee of P100 million.

READ: Scrimmages eyed next after team practice green light