MANILA -- The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) welcomed the government's announcement that allows teams to practice again, as this will boost efforts to hold live games eventually.
"Natutuwa kami sa naging pahayag ng gobyerno tungkol rito," PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said.
Marcial admitted he did not expect the announcement to come out so soon, but nevertheless he said it is crucial for the league that was forced to suspension when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
"Sa 'kin ang tantya ko sa July 15 pa, pero um-okay na ang task force kahapon," he said.
The PBA executive said he expects teams to return to formal practices by the final week of July, as he is scheduled to meet with the PBA governors within the next few days.
But nothing bars PBA players from holding practices as long as they follow the protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.
"Effective immediately na 'yan, sinabi nila na pwedeng mag-practice na ang basketball, football at boxing," he said. "So kami naman sisimulan naman din namin 'yung protocols. Dahan-dahan lang muna, susunod naman doon 'yung scrimmages."
The approval boosted the league's chances of holding at least a single basketball conference this year.
The league has previously submitted a plan to the Inter Agency Task Force to allow PBA teams to resume training in small groups. The proposal included regular testing and limited number of people present during the practices.
"Hopefully makakabalik na tayo by September to October," said Marcial.
But the PBA executive said he will still meet Barangay Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar and PBA draftee Adrian Wong on Monday to get their side regarding their participation in a recent basketball practice.
The practice, which also included Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena, took place before the ITAF's easing of restrictions on basketball.
"Magkikita pa rin kami sa Monday," he said.
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