Sep 18, 2020

PBA protocols in place for bubble safety

THE PBA is confident it can manage a season resumption free of virus while observing strict health protocols in a bubble program in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga starting Oct. 9.

But even if they are hit by infections to some players, league officials said there would be necessary measures in place and they could go on with the compact tourney at the nearby AUF Gym.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and board chairman Ricky Vargas said the league is determined to restart Season 45 Philippine Cup, for one, to offer the Filipinos with some form of entertainment amidst the pandemic.

"Tuloy ito," said Marcial to stress his optimism on getting through with the bubble play.

"Laban na ito, kaya kahit six players for a team in uniform, we'll allow to do the round-robin and play the game. We've trimmed down the number of players to avoid default from eight to six," Marcial also said.

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A 350-strong PBA group will be holed up in Clark for the bubble play that will run for a little over two months. Each team is limited to a total of 25 individuals, including coaches, players and support staff.

"Ang mga teams ang bahala sa composition ng 25-man group nila," said Marcial.

And as they expect anytime soon the IATF nod on their shift to 5-on-5 scrimmages by Sept. 26, the Commissioner's Office has allowed transactions on signing free agents.

Trades are still suspended pending discussion by the commissioner and his key staff members.
On possible virus infections inside the bubble, Marcial said they're ready to handle the situation with help from their hosts.

"One of the good things about Clark is they have the facilities including the isolation center and laboratory. Ipro-provide ng Clark ang lahat ng testing ng buong delegation," said Marcial. (SB)
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