Marcial set for IATF meeting as PBA targets July opening

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2021 04:54 PM

Marcial set for IATF meeting as PBA targets July opening 1
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA - PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial is scheduled to meet with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) this week, where he hopes to get the green light for the league to start its 46th season. 

"Wednesday or Thursday, magpi-present (ako). Ipe-present ko 'yung sa ating opening. Makikita nila na successful 'yung bubble natin na ginamit ng FIBA na blueprint. Two, 'yung ating scrimmages, maganda ang tinatakbo for two months," Marcial said. 

Moreover, 95 percent of the PBA family will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the coming week, the commissioner also said.

He will also explain their stricter protocols to the IATF, including more frequent testing once they open the season.

"Sa halip na 14 days, every 10 days na ang ating testing pag nagsimula. And, 'yun nga, before our opening, may testing na naman tayo three days before," he said.

Marcial is hopeful that they will be given permission to start the conference within the month.

"(Target) pa rin natin to start the season this July," said Marcial, who declined to give a specific target date. 

"'Wag lang magtataas ang (cases) ng delta variant, 'yan ang sinabi sa akin eh. Kaya kailangan pa rin mag-ingat lahat. 'Yan ang problema natin eh," he added. "'Pag nagtaas ang ating pandemya, pati ekonomiya natin, baka magsara, 'di ba?"

If given the go-signal by the IATF, the PBA plans to hold games at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City and the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. Marcial has already had discussions with former Antipolo Mayor Jun Ynares, and plans to pay a courtesy call to Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto.

Marcial on Sunday met with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos at the agency's headquarters in Makati City, to seek further guidance on the IATF rules and regulations on contact sports.

The MMDA and the PBA will work on some actions to be undertaken, which will be acceptable to the IATF.

"We have to ensure the safety of everyone, not only the players, but the general viewing public. We cannot compromise the health and well-being of all," Abalos said, per a statement released by the PBA.

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