MANILA – The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) has cleared all the professional teams to do scrimmages in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
In a major amendment to the joint administrative order (JAO) on sports practices and games amid the pandemic, which was revealed on Thursday, clubs can now push through with their bubble training in GCQ areas provided that the sessions will take place inside a bubble for at least 15 days.
Initially, only Philippine Basketball Association teams have been allowed to conduct scrimmages in the regular GCQ areas through IATF Resolution 114, prompting most of the teams to set up closed-circuit training in various locations in Batangas City.
But with the new JAO, member teams of other pro leagues like the Premier Volleyball League (PVL), National Basketball League (NBL), Philippines Football League, and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 can now resume their practices as well.
On the other hand, GAB has also allowed fight sports organizers to hold their events in GCQ areas with the prerequisite that they should also be of a bubble type.
GAB has also cleared the holding of billiards and e-sports tournament bubbles in GCQ areas but maintained that the pro basketball leagues, PFL, and PVL can only hold matches in modified GCQ areas.
The PVL has tapped the Centennial Arena in Laoag City as the bubble host of its new season.
On the other hand, the NBL has also begun its preparations for its new season by holding an online meeting with its stakeholders.
“We want to thank the IATF and the DOH (Department of Health) for helping us forge this new policy direction and for recognizing the plight of our professional athletes and stakeholders, especially during these challenging times,” GAB chairman Baham Mitra said. “This new order will help both our athletes and the leagues to move forward and break the pandemic sabbatical effect as we really need to keep our athletes in sporting shape.” (PNA)