PBA commish to meet with coaches and managers for return-to-practice measures

By: Musong Castillo - Philippine Daily Inquirer | July 10,2020 - 06:52 AM

Coaches and team managers of all 12 PBA clubs will meet with commissioner Willie Marcial on Friday, July 10, 2020, to fine-tune—if needed—the return-to-practice guidelines the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved for Asia’s pioneering professional basketball league last week.

Read: Basketball, football teams may now resume training sessions

“We will meet to be able to have a common idea on how we can improve—if we can—the guidelines the IATF approved for us,” Marcial told the Inquirer over the phone on Thursday, July 9, as he continues to do everything he can with the help of the league’s board of governors for the PBA to salvage what’s left of what was supposed to be a milestone 45th season.

Improving the guidelines would mean stricter measures, which most coaches are amenable to, if only to return to play at the soonest possible time.

Read: PBA optimistic on resumption even as social media video shows apparent violation of health guidelines

“While there’s still no vaccine, let’s try something,” NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said in a report posted on the league’s website on Thursday.

“We have to look for our own solution and be proactive. We’re the least of the government’s problems. Ang dami nilang problema kung sila ang hihintayin natin. We have to start pushing for our own resumption,” Guiao said.

“We (commissioner’s office) will take suggestions from the coaches and team managers and it will be an open discussion among us,” Marcial said. “We can add to the IATF protocols, but we cannot reduce them.”

Read: PBA cancels games due to coronavirus threat

The IATF has allowed the PBA to conduct practices and the PBA is not rushing into it, with only individual workouts permitted in facilities that will be sanitized and closed off for the protection of the teams.

All 12 coaches are expected to join the meeting either by being present at the league’s offices in Libis, Quezon City, or via Zoom.

Another crucial meet scheduled is the one among members of the board on Saturday, July 11, where Marcial and the team executives will finalize details regarding practices.

A big item to be discussed is where teams can have all their personnel tested and how each team will care for all of its players once they are inside the PBA bubble.

Unlike in the NBA, which closed the Walt Disney Complex near Orlando in Florida for its 22 teams and personnel, the PBA will allow its players to go home and be with with their respective families.

“That’s one of the things we will talk about, how we can make sure that all of the players are in a safe environment,” Marcial said. “We need to have a closed-circuit method for everyone involved.”

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TAGS: IATF, PBA, PBA coaches, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, PBA COVID-19, PBA teams

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