COVID-19 swab testing delay sets back PBA training

Published July 28, 2020, 4:31 PM

by Waylon Galvez

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial (PBA Images)

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said they were informed late Monday by the Makati Medical Center that the available dates for swab testing schedule of players, coaches and trainers involved in the resumption of the practice session will be on August 6 and 7.

That means the training of the teams will have to be pushed back two weeks.

“Nasabihan kami na ganun nga kasi marami nang nakapagpa-schedule sa kanila kaya yun na lang yung available dates,” said Marcial Tuesday when contacted by Manila Bulletin.

After the swab test, Marcial said all involved need to wait for results, which normally come out in two days before the PBA finally gives the ‘green light’ for the practice sessions.

“Antay na lang muna natin matapos talaga yung swab testing… nauudlot e,” said Marcial.

Last Monday, the Joint Administrative Order composed of the heads of the Games and Amusements Board, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Health signed a letter that allow the PBA and the Philippine Football League to resume with training.

GAB chairman Abraham Mitra, PSC chief Butch Ramirez and health secretary Francisco Duque III signed the letter.

According to Marcial, the process for the Makati Medical Center swab test is for players, coaches and trainers to submit names at the PBA Commissioner’s Office, which would then be forwarded to the hospital.

After that, swab testing would be done by batches.

Marcial said Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, San Miguel Beer and Magnolia Hotshots are not included on the list for swab testing since San Miguel Corporation has its own testing for COVID-19.

Only nine teams are on the list – TNT KaTropa, NLEX, Meralco, Alaska, NorthPort, Rain or Shine, Terra Forma DYIP and Blackwater and Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters.

The league is hoping to resume after its season was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was last March 8 when the PBA opened its 45th season with a game between San Miguel and Magnolia.