The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) thanked the government after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) released the joint administrative for several professional sports teams to resume training amidst the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa gobyerno dahil napayagan na tayo magsimula, meron ng JAO. Hopefully, dire-direcho na tayo,” PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said on Monday, July 27, as quoted by the league’s website.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairperson William Ramirez, Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairperson Abraham Mitra, and Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Francisco Duque signed the order that sets guidelines on the conduct of health enhancing physical activities and sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced on July 4 that the IATF gave the go signal for professional sports teams, including those in the PBA and the Philippine Football League, to resume practice sessions.
However, the teams had to wait for the joint administrative order before formally resuming practice.
Mitra also welcomed the release of the joint administrative order, and expressed hope that it will pave way for professional sports leagues in the Philippines to resume games amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are so happy and excited that finally, after more than four months our professional football and basketball players can now shake off some pounds they may have acquired during the quarantine,” Mitra said in a statement.
“We expect them to practice maybe for a month or two to be match fit, and hopefully when quarantine levels go down be allowed to eventually play,” the GAB official added.
PBA suspended its games on March due to the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.