Batangas City opens door to team practices, PBA to iron out protocols

Published May 2, 2021, 2:44 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Batangas City will allow PBA teams the option to hold regular practices inside the city once protocols and necessary requirements are finalized.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua received a nod of approval from Mayor Beverly Dimacuha and Batangas fifth district representative Marvey Marino during talks held Saturday.

Marcial also said that Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra, whose agency is part of the Joint Administrative Order, is also backing the proposal aimed to help teams resume practice despite the current COVID-19 situation.

Other details will be ironed out before the venues, including the Batangas City Sports Center, can welcome the teams.

“Ok naman sila na mag-practice doon at baka pumunta ako dun sa Friday kasama ng team ko para mapagusapan mga protocols, disinfection at papaano ang pag-cordon off ng mga tao,” Marcial said.

“Hindi ko pa lang ma-ano dahil may mga bigas pa yung mga gym so tatanggalin nila so hopefully by next week maayos na,” added Marcial. “Kausap ko din si Chairman Mitra at all-out support naman siya pero depende pa nga kung ano ang level sa Batangas.”

PBA teams have been limited to holding virtual workouts since Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan are currently under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine until at least May 14.

The province of Batangas is under General Community Quarantine until May 31, which allows for practices that will be split into groups to assure that safety protocols are practiced.

Five-on-five scrimmages are only permitted in Modified General Community Quarantine areas, but the PBA has requested the Inter-Agency Task Force if the arrangement can be allowed under GCQ.

“Alam ko ilalagay nila sa agenda yung ating request pero di ka pa alam kung kailan kami ipapatawag ng IATF,” Marcial said.

The league took into consideration the Batangas City proposal which was made by Barangay Ginebra San Miguel assistant coach Richard del Rosario, who also brought up the idea of staging the Philippine Cup bubble last year in Pampanga.

Del Rosario’s proposal would allow teams to head back into their homes given the proximity of Metro Manila and Batangas City by way of Skyway, South Luzon Expressway and STAR tollway.

But teams can also entertain other options such as staging their own training bubbles, provided their request is approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force, JAO and the Local Government Unit.P