The Games and Amusement Board (GAB) accepted the apology of Blackwater Elite owner Dioceldo Sy after the basketball team reportedly held a practice session amidst the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Commissioner Edward Trinidad and I have met with Mr. Sy. We have accepted their apology,” GAB chairperson Abraham Mitra said.
Mitra said that Elite promised to adhere to all the rules, and safety standards as well as the directives of the Inter-Agency for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).
However, the apology does not mean that the PBA team escaped sanctions from GAB.
“The Board needs to study further their reply to our letter if we will sanction or fine them as Commissioner Mar Masanguid is still in Davao,” the GAB official explained.
Mitra said that GAB asked the Elite to wait for the IATF and joint administrative order of GAB, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Health in order to not jeopardize efforts to allow professional teams to resume practices.
“A stern warning maybe issued by GAB to Blackwater to refrain from any practice in the meantime that the order has not yet come out,” Mitra said.
PBA has imposed a Php 100,000 fine on Elite after Sy said that the team held a practice session even though the basketball league has yet to give the go-signal for teams to resume practices.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial has also ordered the members of the team to undergo swab testing.
If they test negative for COVID-19 and show no symptoms of the respiratory illness, the PBA official told members of the team to undergo self-quarantine for seven days
Sy later clarified that he only saw two players doing a shoot-around.