GAB set to discuss protocols with pro leagues ahead of training resumption

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 09 2021 06:57 PM

MANILA - The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) will meet with the country's professional leagues, notably the PBA and the Philippines Football League, to discuss their health and safety protocols before teams are given the go-signal to resume training sessions.

This comes after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Friday allowed PBA teams to hold practices in areas under general community quarantine or modified general community quarantine.

"We will sit down with these two professional leagues to discuss the possible guidelines and facilitate the immediate implementation of the IATF's approval," GAB chairman Baham Mitra said.

"Of course, the health and safety of our athletes are of paramount importance, so, on our part, we will ensure our compliance with the directives of the IATF," he added.

Mitra had applauded the IATF's decision to allow the resumption of training for professional teams, noting that this shows that the government "recognized the plight of Filipino professional athletes, especially during these trying times."

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial has already set up a meeting with Mitra on Monday to go over the league's protocol for team practices.

Batangas has been established as a training venue for PBA teams, though some ball clubs have also set up camps in other sites including Ilocos. If Metro Manila is placed under GCQ or MGCQ in the coming weeks, teams are expected to be allowed to start training in their respective gyms.

The PBA will have to get its protocols approved by the GAB before it can officially start its training sessions. The GAB, which governs pro sports in the country, is a signatory in the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) that monitors the conduct of sports during the pandemic together with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Health.

Mitra stressed that they will ensure that the PBA's protocols are in line with the supplemental guidelines of the JAO.

"This Supplemental Guidelines will also allow all professional sports leagues under the tutelage of GAB to resume training under a bubble modality in GCQ and MGCQ areas," he explained.

Marcial has guaranteed that the protocols they will implement will be even stricter than what they used for last year's PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga. This includes, among other guidelines, swab tests every ten days.

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