Jun 30, 2020

Ricky Vargas optimistic PBA will resume season halted by Covid-19

DESPITE the increasing COVID-19 cases in the country by the day, the chairman of the PBA Board is keeping an optimistic mindset the league will be able to resume its postponed season later this year.

TnT governor Ricky Vargas remains high about seeing the pioneering pro league get back on its feet and restart the 45th season that was prematurely shutdown with the outbreak of the pandemic three months ago.

Vargas said the task may look a bit difficult given the current situation, but there's no harm about thinking positive.

"We would like to really think positively about being able to go back," said Vargas, who graced the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) webcast Tuesday. "We will improve soon."

As of now, the PBA still awaits a reply from the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) regarding the Board-approved health protocols it submitted to the government body, which the league plans to implement once it is given the go signal to finally resume team practices.

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But it's good, according to Vargas, the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) has also sought an audience with the IATF and submitted various health procedures that may be applied to help restart pro sports in the county, including the PBA.

"The more positive note is the statement of GAB that it is also working to see that pro sports begin (in the country)," said the TnT official.

Vargas couldn't speak for the other teams, but said the Katropa shared the same optimism he has in seeing the league resuming its season.

"Our players are coming together and are very hopeful that we can start," he said. "Kasi alam din naman nila na we are protecting their own health interest and families with the protocols we have put together."

On its own, the Katropa also sought clearance with the IATF regarding the possibility of restarting team practice, which Vargas pointed out was 'along the lines of the protocols which the PBA has put together.'

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The franchise is likewise still awaiting a word from the government agency.

What Vargas has been hearing though, is the possibility of team practices being allowed if ever Metro Manila is finally placed under a Moderate General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) status.

"(The) closest we can get is if we go to MGCQ. Pag MGCQ, sinasabi nila you may go back to practicing," said Vargas.

But not until there's formal notification from the IATF, everything remains status quo.(RG)