Plan of action laid down

Plan of action laid down

MANILA, Philippines — PBA teams are ready to take baby steps towards a gradual return to the basketball world as the government eases quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila.

For reigning Philippine Cup five-peat champion San Miguel Beer, the initial move is to make sure everyone in the team is healthy and COVID-19-free.

“Our first step so far is for the team to have a swab test courtesy of our kind-hearted big boss RSA (Ramon S. Ang),” SMB team manager Gee Abanilla told The STAR.

“We’ve been tested negative for COVID-19 as of yesterday’s result, and now we are aggressively reminding each team member to be extra vigilant in observing safety measures to prevent any unnecessary exposure to the virus,” he added.

Abanilla said the Beermen have also taken steps just in case the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will eventually allow some form of training.

“I’ve communicated with the village association president of the venue where we practice at so as not to have problems just in case closed-door team practices are eventually allowed,” he said. “And I’ve spoken to our team doctor and PT’s already and we’ve crafted some safety guidelines and protocols that could be used in due time.”

The Meralco Bolts are similarly charting their resumption plans.

“With the health, safety and well-being of the Meralco Bolts as foremost priority, we’re taking necessary steps to resume supervised training, individual non-contact work-outs, subject to government approval, and with safety measures and strict protocols in place,” Bolts team manager Paolo Trillo informed The STAR.

“There is no definite timeline as we continue to assess and await government clearance.”

Trillo also shared that the Bolts are scheduled for their testing today.

Ultimately, the teams will be implementing their return-to-practice plans with guidance from the PBA and government authorities.

“We are awaiting whatever policies and guidelines PBA will mandate on its teams. They have a meeting this Wednesday. We’ll take it from there,” Phoenix’ Paolo Bugia said in a message to The STAR.

“There are still some questions that need to be answered when it comes to minimizing the risk of every team member and the public; that is why we are keenly waiting for further development from the PBA as well as our government to further modify and improve our plan of action,” said Abanilla.