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Jul 10, 2020

PBA coaches agree league protocol is 'doable'

Coaches of the 12 PBA teams agree that the league has put up a 'doable' protocol that could safeguard the players against the novel coronavirus.

"I think it's good. All we have to do is follow it," said Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone.

Coaches and team managers gathered at the PBA office and were briefed by Commissioner Willie Marcial, Deputy Commissioner Eric Castro and Legal Counsel Atty. Melvin Mendoza on the guidelines the league will implement once individual workout starts.

The procedure requires all teams to take a COVID test three days before training commences. After that, teams will again have to undergo COVID testing every 10 days. All training facilities should initially be disinfected using hospital standard disinfection procedures, aside from the usual before-and-after group workouts disinfection process.

Players are also required to follow the 'closed circuit' method that confine their travel to home - practice facility and back.

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"I think the PBA has put up an effective guideline to safeguard the players. It's just a matter of attitude from the players to maintain it," said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.

Marcial said the meeting was well attended and he heard some suggestions which he will relay to the Board of Governors during its meeting Saturday.

"One inquiry was when will scrimmages be allowed," said Marcial.

Guiao said he sees no problem with the safety guidelines the league will implement. He added that the weight of the guidelines now rest on the players' shoulder.

"It's up to them if we intend to keep everyone safe. Everybody should practice discipline at all times if we want this league to survive and likewise protect their livelihood," Guiao said.

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Guiao also added that all he wants to know is how much tolerance can the league allow to keep them going. "How do we define cluster cases from an outbreak?".

Marcial said he will bring Guiao's concern before the board in Saturday's meeting.

SMB coach Leo Austria said he is thrilled with the thought that he will be reuniting with his players again.

"It's been four months (since the lockdown). So we really missed each other a lot. Having the opportunity to be together and workout together is a relief for everybody", said Austria.

With regards to the protocol, Austria said the players must practice the 3 Ds (discipline, determination and dedication) to keep everybody safe.