The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) welcomed the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) move on Friday that allows gyms to operate with limited capacity.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial expressed his enthusiasm, telling the Inquirer earlier that afternoon: “It’s a sign that the country is getting closer to reopening.”
If anything, the relaxation, which occurred pursuant to the IATF resolution dated June 10, indicates that the PBA is still on track for a season opening in late June or early July.
Twelve of the league’s member teams have been training without problems for almost a month. Nine teams have adopted the PBA’s closed-loop scheme in the city of Batangas, while corporate brothers TNT, NLEX and Meralco have organized bubble camps in northern cities.
With the IATF announcement, teams can now return to their predetermined home courts in Metro Manila, provided they only have reduced cluster practices, and their respective gyms secure the security seal certifications now required by the government.
That is why Marcial prefers to wait for June 15 before making his next move.
“For a long time we have secured the signal from the Task Force to conduct games. So I prefer to wait for a [classification] downgrading because that would be much easier for all of us, “he said.
“What I am sure we intend to do soon, however, is consult with the [Games and Amusements Board],[MetropolitanManilaDevelopmentAuthorityandtheTaskForceforguidanceforournewseason”added[MetropolitanManilaDevelopmentAuthorityandtheTaskForceforguidanceforournewseason”headded[AutoridaddeDesarrolloMetropolitanadeManilayelGrupodeTrabajoparaorientaciónparanuestranuevatemporada”agregó[MetropolitanManilaDevelopmentAuthorityandtheTaskForceforguidanceforournewseason”headded
Marcial revealed last week that the PBA leadership intends to host the games at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City or at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Meanwhile, the Japanese B. League has yet to respond to the PBA’s letter regarding Kiefer Ravena’s contract situation.
“We contacted the president of the league, Shinji Shimada. Although we still haven’t heard from him, ”Marcial said. “I already spoke with Kiefer after the press conference on Saturday, I told him about the decision of the Board and he said ‘OK po'”.
Shiga Lakestars, in a surprise announcement on June 2, said it has signed playmaker NLEX as an Asian import for the upcoming B.League season.
Two days later, the PBA, through a hastily organized press conference, officially rejected Ravenna’s offer to play in Japan. Ravena has a live contract with NLEX until 2023. INQ
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