The PBA is targeting June 15 as the opening date of Season 46.
SMC sports director and Brgy. Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua revealed the latest development after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) gave the league the go-signal to conduct full practices and scrimmages.
“We are thinking of June 15,” replied Chua when asked about the league’s target date of opening during a guesting on the online program ‘The Chasedown’.
Chua, along with commissioner Willie Marcial, earlier met with Senator Bong Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in Malacanang to seek approval for the league to resume activities under a closed-circuit format. The IATF later on gave the green light provided that practices are held in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified GCQ (MGCQ) and strict health protocols are to be observed.
A June opening will allow the league to hold two conferences outside a bubble format which, Marcial earlier said, was too costly and is not feasible at this point in time.
Chua stressed that despite the approval, the league still has to prove to all government agencies concerned that practice sessions can be conducted in a safe environment in order to get the validation for a June 15 start.
“Bawat teams sa PBA, alam nila kung gaano kahirap kung paano kami nabuksan para maumpisahan yung practice na 5-on-5. Hindi naman namin gusto na ensayo lang. Kung ensayo lang gusto namin, okay lang practice kami ng practice. Siyempre gusto namin makapaglaro. We have to prove to them na nag-eensayo kami, walang nahawa, wala lahat, para mapayagan na tayo,” explained the former Gin Kings head coach.
“Hindi IATF o sila Sen. Bong o si Executive Secretary. Nasa sa amin yun. We have to prove to them na kaya namin yung protocols, na maingat na maingat kami para kami makapaglaro. Binigyan ako ng susi. Kung paano namin pagagandahin yung susi, paano namin lalagyan ng bulaklak o pagagandahin yung susi, nasa sa amin na yun,” he added.
“Wag sila maging kampante. Dapat lalo kaming maging strict. If we want to stay and play the game, kailangan talaga sundin natin ‘yung tama. Ituring nila ang liga na ‘to na pamilya nila. Ituring nila na tayo nabigyan ng tsansa, wag na natin pakawalan.”