PBA: Swab testing to be implemented per team basis

9 teams will be notified on date, time
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial (PBA Images)

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said Friday the swab testing of players and personnel would be done on a per team basis between August 6 and 7 as scheduled by the Makati Medical Center.

“Hindi na siya by batches of 10, 20… kada team ang gagawin,” Marcial told the Manila Bulletin Friday. “Hopefully OK ang lahat – safe sa COVID-19.”

Marcial said that while the Commissioner’s Office has been notified by MMC of the dates, the hospital would still provide the exact days and time for each team.

Sources said players and team personnel will receive official communication from the hospital for their respective schedules.

READ: COVID-19 swab testing delay sets back PBA training

“We’ll receive email from Makati Medical Center, so for now we don’t know yet when the swab testing will be done. What we know is it’s either August 6 or 7 for the nine teams,” said one of the sources.

These are those from the MVP group of companies – TNT KaTropa, NLEX and Meralco, and Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, Alaska, NorthPort, Terra Forma DYIP, Blackwater and Rain or Shine.

The teams under the San Miguel Corporation banner – Magnolia Hotshots, San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel – will have their own swab testing within the company.

READ: PBA coaches vow enforcement of safety protocols

SMB and Magnolia are both set to be tested Tuesday at the SMC compound, the Beermen in the morning and the Hotshots in the afternoon, while Ginebra will have its test Wednesday.

“We just received our schedule, Ginebra team will be tested August 5. We can’t wait to get back to work, we’re all excited,” said Ginebra mentor Tim Cone.

The swab testing is part of the guidelines approved by the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) and the Department of Health (DOH) for professional sports.

GAB chairman Baham Mitra, PSC chairman Butch Ramirez and DOH secretary Francisco Duque III signed the JAO last Monday.

It is the first step for the PBA’s return to practice session after nearly five months break after the cancelation of games in the Philippine Cup following the 45th season opening last March 8.

READ: 12 PBA teams brace for return to practice

Marcial ordered the cancelation of games and practice sessions after that as the government issues an Enhanced Community Quarantine or lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: Stricter GCQ measures could stall PBA practice resumption