Pro leagues remain hopeful scrimmages, games can resume in due time

Published September 14, 2020, 5:16 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Stallion-Laguna coach Ernie Nierras uses a megaphone to give instructions to his players during a training session at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite. (Photo from PFL)

The PBA, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 and Philippines Football League remained hopeful despite a lukewarm response by the government regarding the immediate resumption of training scrimmages and games.

Commissioners of three pro leagues said they will continue to adhere to quarantine regulations after Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said over the weekend that the government is “not yet confident enough” to allow scrimmages and games to resume.

Nograles added that it would be advisable for the leagues to continue with the workouts being done by teams under strict health protocols like social distancing and disinfection.

“Hihintayin namin kung ano ang papayagan ng gobyerno. Susunod lang tayo sa kung ano ang sasabihin ng gobyerno,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, whose league is set to finalize on Thursday plans to hold its season under a bubble concept.

The Alaska Aces train while observing social distancing measures. (PBA Images)

Marcial had earlier said the PBA plans to restart on Oct. 9, but has not ruled out the possibility of cancelling the season if things don’t go as planned.

Chooks 3×3 is hoping to start a week earlier or Oct. 2 to be exact under a similar bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

League commissioner Eric Altamirano said nothing has changed with regards to their timeline.

“The league will follow and abide by the rules of the IATF,” said Altamirano. “We will wait for IATF to allow our teams to progress to scrimmages but until then, we will continue to do individual training. 

A health worker disinfect the balls used after a Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 practice at the UP Diliman campus. (Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas)

“With regards to the start of the league, Oct. 2 is still our tentative date for our first bubble,” Altamirano added.

Meanwhile, the PFL is also planning to open the season next month if things turn out well in the current training sessions being held in Carmona, Cavite.

“First and foremost, we are very thankful to IATF for allowing pro club football training to resume under strict guidelines with the endorsement of (Games and Amusements Board),” said PFL commissioner Coco Torre. 

“On the resumption of scrimmages, we respect the decision of IATF on this matter. We trust their expertise and will continue to cooperate with their directives. we take this opportunity to wish them more strength and guidance in dealing with this pandemic,” he added.