MANILA – The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) meted a PHP100,000-fine to the Blackwater Elite for what is deemed as a violation of quarantine protocols amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
On Thursday, the league slapped the Ever Bilena franchise with the sanction after its team owner, Dioceldo Sy, said in an online interview that his team is back in practice.
Sy, however, clarified that he just said so because he saw two players doing some shoot-around with the ball boy and he thought it was indeed a practice session.
Commissioner Willie Marcial also ordered the entire Elite squad to undergo swab testing. Those tested negative for Covid-19 would undergo a seven-day self-quarantine.
Although the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases already approved the resumption of practices among professional teams, Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra said on Wednesday the joint administrative order made by GAB, the Philippine Sports Commission, and the Department of Health must be approved first by the health secretary before GAB can clear the PBA and the Philippines Football League teams as well as the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3×3-backed Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 that will compete in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament to train again.
GAB is waiting for an explanation from Blackwater governor Silliman Sy regarding the practice session before making its own verdict.
In a related development, Marcial has also opened a probe regarding Sy’s reaction to the said sanctions.
Fumed by the penalty his team incurred as he thinks he was “misquoted”, Sy said he is putting the Elite’s PBA franchise for sale.
With Sy’s statement stemming from the sanctions, Marcial sees his words as “serious allegations”, which could mean another penalty will be meted out.
If Sy stands by his statement, Blackwater, a known powerhouse in the defunct Philippine Basketball League as Blu Detergent and one of the founding members of the PBA D-League, could be leaving the PBA after just six seasons. (PNA)