SBP exec advises MPBL, other leagues to submit protocols to IATF

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2020 01:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) and other basketball leagues should follow the steps of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in asking permission from government agencies to return to practices.

This was the advice of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios, after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) last week gave the PBA permission for its teams to return to practices despite community quarantine protocols in place all over the country.

Barrios had warned that the IATF's permission may not extend to other leagues.

"Gusto naming malaman 'yung language, 'yung coverage. Kasi kung halimbawa, ang language is specific lang na approved ang proposal ng PBA, hanggang doon lang 'yun. PBA lang 'yan. 'Yung sinasabing grassroots, 'di kasama doon," he explained on Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

When asked if leagues such as the MPBL should then craft their own protocols and submit them to the IATF and the Department of Health, Barrios said that would be a good idea.

"Maganda 'yung ganoon," he said. "The more the merrier, so to speak. The more na magsabi na gusto namin bumalik, ito plano namin."

Barrios said these leagues can opt to "second the motion" of the PBA and copy the protocols submitted by the professional league.

"Let's say ikaw si league XYZ, nakita mo na approved na ang PBA, eh 'di kokopya ka na lang, second the motion ka dun sa in-approve," he said.

"Maganda 'yung malaman din ng authorities na maraming gustong bumalik, sa training at the very least," he added.

The PBA stopped all its activities on March 11, just three days after it opened its 45th season, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The MPBL, meanwhile, also halted the semifinals of the Lakan Cup but has plans of resuming the playoffs.

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes has also sought to clarify if the IATF's permission includes their league.

"Does it include basketball all over the country? Kasi ang naka-state lang doon only professional leagues. So hindi natin alam kung iyong the rest kasama doon," he said in a recent interview.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).