The management of NLEX has already reached out to the Administrative Office of Quezon City Hall for approval of the Road Warriors to conduct practice sessions at the Epsilon Chi Center inside University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City.
NLEX team manager Ronald Dulatre said Friday, May 14, that the team already submitted a request with endorsement from the PBA Commissioner’s Office and a memo from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
“Most likely we’ll resume training at the UP gym, but we have to wait for the approval of the LGU. We already sent our request,” said Dulatre when contacted by Manila Bulletin.
The 25-man contingent of NLEX composed of players and coaching staff had their initial RT-PCR Test last Tuesday, and will again have their swab test on Sunday as required under the guidelines approved.
The team was initially considering Angeles City in Pampanga as a venue for the resumption of practice sessions.
However, this all changed after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendations last Thursday of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the National Capital Region-Plus to be under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting Saturday, May 15.
Dulatre said that the option of holding practice sessions in Pampanga is still an option for NLEX. He said that NLEX coach Yeng Guiao already prepared a fall back in case there is no decision yet from their request to practice at UP.
“That is if there is no decision yet from the LGU (Quezon City). Kasi ang target to start is May 18, kung hindi pa puwede sa UP, para naman hindi masayang yung two tests (RT-PCR) ng team, sa Clark muna ang ensayo (The target is May 18, now if going to UP is not yet OK, the team will practice in Clark so as not to waste the tests),” said Dulatre.
The team members, according to Dulatre, will meet at the NLEX main office in Balintawak and take a coaster to ensure the health and safety of players and coaches going to Clark and back to Balintawak.
Also an option is Subic, but Dulatre said the team is likely to stay in a hotel for a few days for team building.
League officials hope to start practice sessions on May 18, and open the 46th PBA Season with the Philippine Cup next month.