Stricter GCQ measures could stall PBA practice resumption

Published July 30, 2020, 4:48 PM

by Jonas Terrado

NorthPort practice
In this file photo, the NorthPort Batang Pier practice social distancing during their practice last March before the government implemented the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila. (Photo from NorthPort’s Twitter account)

Team practices in the professional ranks could be put on hold if plans for a stricter community quarantine measure in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces starting Aug. 1 push through.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque had earlier hinted new measures may be announced by President Duterte after COVID-19 cases spiked to 85,000 on Wednesday.

The announcement which will likely be made Thursday will determine what kind of training pro players and teams can observe once they test negative for COVID-19.

Based on the Joint Administrative Order of the Games and Amusements Board, Philippine Sports Commission and Department of Health, a maximum of five players per activity and a skeleton workforce not exceeding 10 people are allowed under General Community Quarantine.

Practices, however, won’t be allowed under a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine and Enhanced Community Quarantine, thus limiting players to train individually in private (ECQ) and public spaces (ECQ and MECQ).

Modified Risk Areas are allowing a maximum of 10 players per session and skeleton workforce not exceeding 25 while Low Risk Areas permit a maximum skeleton workforce of 50.

PBA teams will be allowed to train under strict health guidelines once swab tests turn out negative.

READ: Attention PBA fans: 12 teams brace for return to practice

Several ballclubs are slated to undergo the procedure on Aug. 6 and 7 at the Makati Medical Center while San Miguel, Ginebra and Magnolia will do theirs at the testing facility of San Miguel Corporation.

READ: Signed, sealed, delivered: IATF letter makes official go-signal for PBA practice

Meanwhile, clubs in the Philippines Football League have already completed their own rapid and swab tests at the Philippine Football Federation office in Pasig City.

The PFF said a total of 155 individuals tested negative, but will hold another set of tests for other PFL players who have yet to take part in the procedure.

READ: Off to practice: Long wait over for PBA, PFL — GAB

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, which was given professional status by GAB on Wednesday, has already set its own set of guidelines including plans to implement a bubble concept.