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PBA coaches, execs amenable to strict health protocols



Tim Cone

TIM Cone of Ginebra described the guidelines crafted for PBA return as doable. (File)

PBA coaches said it will now be a matter of complying to the strict health protocols that will be observed once the league decides a date for teams to resume practices.

Coaches and team managers, who took part in Friday’s meeting with PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, deputy Eric Castro and legal counsel Melvin Mendoza, described the guidelines as “doable” and that it allows them to safeguard players and staff from getting infected by the COVID-19.

“I think it’s good. All we have to do is follow it,” said Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Tim Cone after the meeting held at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City.

The PBA was given more than a week ago by the Inter-Agency Task Force to resume training, though limited to batches composed of a maximum of five people each under General Community Quarantine and 10 under a Modified General Community Quarantine.

Also to be implemented are COVID-19 tests for all teams three days before the start of practice, followed by similar procedures every 10 days and disinfection of training facilities using hospital standards.

A “closed-circuit method” will also be applied in which players can only go from their homes to the practice venues and vice versa.

The league is hoping that such measures will be followed after concerns of breaches were raised when Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar and Rain or Shine rookie Adrian Wong played in a pickup game barred under GCQ.

Aguilar and Wong, who participated in the prohibited game alongside PBA draftee and Gilas Pilipinas pool member Isaac Go and Japan-bound Thirdy Ravena, were fined P20,000 each and told to take a swab test aside from taking a 14-day quarantine period.

“I think the PBA has put up an effective guideline to safeguard the players. It’s just a matter of attitude from the players to maintain it,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.

Marcial said the coaches and team managers did offer some suggestions which were expected to be tackled during Saturday’s meeting with the PBA Board of Governors.

It is expected that the board will finally set a date for teams to begin practice sessions.

PBA players, during a meeting with Marcial last June 23, already expressed their commitment to attend practices whenever the league decides.