Philippine sports

GAB targets end of August for professional training restart

Beatrice Go
Games and Amusement Board Chairman Abraham Mitra hopes that professional teams will be able to resume practice after MECQ

Games and Amusement Board (GAB) Chairman Abraham Mitra hopes that the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and Philippines Football League (PFL) teams will be able to proceed with their training restarts at the end of August 2020.

As Metro Manila and Cavite, where the Philippines Football Federation (PFF) national training center is located, shifted back to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the training plans stipulated under the joint administrative order issued were stalled for the meantime.

“At the end of the month, we hope training would resume,” said Mitra in a mix of English and Filipino on Tuesday, August 4, at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

According to Mitra, the organizations under GAB – such as the PBA, PFL, and professional boxing teams – will use the time to flesh out details of the training protocols as COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged past 106,000 on Monday.

The PFL was slated to move into the bubble created in Carmona, Cavite, after all athletes and staff tested negative for coronavirus in the RT-PCR/swab test.

The PBA scheduled its league-wide swab tests for August 6 and 7, but these will also be delayed due to the shift to MECQ.

Recently approved by GAB as a professional league, Chooks-to-Go 3×3 also planned on entering a bubble at the National University (NU) campus in Laguna, but this will be postponed until after the MECQ is lifted.

But if the areas intially tapped for training restart continue to be under MECQ after August 18, Mitra recommended that the leagues find alternative venues located in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The planning should be done in coordination with the local government units (LGUs) involved.

Lahat ng bagay, coordinate with the LGUs because they will be sending their health officers. Kaya nagkakaproblema sa ibang lalawigan kasi may galing Maynila,” added Mitra.

(All things should be coordinated with the LGUs because they will be sending their health officers. There have been problems in other provinces because there are people who came from Manila.) –

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.