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GAB to enforce strict ‘safety and health’ protocol in PBA, PFL full practice return

THE Games and Amusements Board (GAB) on Saturday welcomed the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in allowing the return of Philippine Basketball Association in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified GCQ.

GAB Chairman Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra said the Philippine Football League (PFL) also received a positive response but clarified that the IATF’s approval for both leagues is for team’s scrimmages and full practice session only and not for the actual game yet.

“We will sit down with these two professional leagues to discuss the possible guidelines and facilitate the immediate implementation of the IATF’s approval. Of course, the health and safety of our athletes are of paramount importance, so, on our part, we will ensure our compliance with the directives of the IATF.

Under IATF Resolution No.114 which was releases on Friday, the Asia’s pioneering pro league can now hold full practices in areas under the stated community quarantine level.

Professional sports workouts which included the PFL and PBA were stalled as stricter lockdown measures were implemented in Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna late last March due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

“This move shows that the government has recognized the plight of Filipino professional athletes, especially during these trying times,” said Mitra.

The former Palawan Governor and Congressma, said the country’s regulatory body of professional sports is set to convene with the league to discuss health and safety protocols.

GAB is pleased with these developments as it would not only bode well for the two leagues, but for other pro leagues in the country as well.

Both the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) and the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Women’s NBL are also applying to gain clearance for the respective seasons.

“This approval is based on the Supplemental Guidelines to the Joint Administrative Order No. 2020-0001 of the PSC, GAB, and the DOH or the guidelines on the conduct of athletic bubble-type training and competition during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Mitra.

“This Supplemental Guidelines will also allow all professional sports leagues under the tutelage of GAB to resume training under a bubble modality in GCQ and MGCQ areas.”

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