Team scrimmages by September? Marcial is praying, hoping

August 22, 2020

EVEN before its players step back into the practice gyms, the PBA already has its next move planned out.

Pro league commissioner Willie Marcial said he intends to push through with a long-delayed plan and write the IATF another letter requesting that PBA teams be allowed to conduct full contact team scrimmages by September.

"Sana payagan din tayo, pero lahat na iyan siguro depende kung nasaan na tayo dito sa (COVID-19) virus," added Marcial.

"Kung tumataas pa rin ang mga kaso nandiyan pa rin posibilidad na tumaas ulit ang quarantine level. Pero kung steady lang ang number o, mas maganda, bumaba malamang payagan tayo. Sana."

Metro Manila, where most of the PBA venues and practice gyms are located, was among those areas in the country which eased back to the GCQ level last Wednesday after two weeks in the more restrictive MECQ.

The lowering of the quarantine level meant the PBA players can now proceed with their conditioning and workouts starting Tuesday.

Players must test negative for COVID-19 before they can join the non-contact team workouts which will be done under the strict health protocols laid out in the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) of the DOH, GAB and PSC.

Actually, Marcial already has his new letter of request to the IATF ready since last month but was forced to defer sending it due to the delays brought about by the pandemic.

"Okay na rin, kasi na-refine natin iyung laman ng sulat, naidagdag ?ung ibang (safety) protocols, "said Marcial, adding he now hopes that the IATF would give its go-signal for the teams to conduct full contact scrimmages.

"Nag-wo-workout naman ang mga iyan (players) sa bahay pero hinabaan natin ang workouts para kapag nagkaroon na ng scrimmages mababa posibilidad ng injuries," offered Marcial.

Marcial has previously said he wants the resumption of the Philippine Cup to start by mid-October for the lone tournament of the season to conclude by late January. (NC, PBA Website)