Gov’t body grants PBA provisional approval

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The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is officially back after the league received a provisional approval from Inter-Agency Task force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to conduct its season resumption in a bubble environment in Clark, Pampanga.

“The PBA is here. We’re going to play and you’re going to see us again from your homes,” PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said in a Zoom press conference on Thursday.

Vince Dizon, the president and CEO of Bases Conversion and Development Authority, said the provisional approval was given only because the PBA presented stricter protocols than what the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) and the Department of Health (DOH) recommended.

Marcial later told the Inquirer that it’s just a matter of aligning the standards of the DOH and GAB to match the tight measures being implemented by the league before the “provisional” in the approval will be stricken off.

“Don’t let the word ‘provisional’ alarm you,” Dizon said in Filipino.

Under PBA protocols, all those who will be housed inside the bubble—players, team officials, media and league staff—are required to be undergo swab testing five days before they enter the environment. They will also need to undergo strict home quarantine before entering Clark.

Even if they had tested negative in an initial screening, those who will join the two-month bubble will then be swab-tested upon entry and will only be allowed to leave their respective hotel rooms if the result turns out negative again.

The double-testing requirement has pushed the planned opening from Oct. 9 to Oct. 11, giving the league more time to process results.

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