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PBA eyes NCR practices as Metro Manila eases to GCQ with ‘some restrictions’

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The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is now eyeing to bring all 12 teams to Metro Manila to continue their buildup for Season 46 that is slated to open either late June or early July.

League commissioner Willie Marcial said that they will start communicating with certain government agencies in order to have the clubs relocate their training from provinces to the capital region.

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Majority of the ball clubs are holding their scrimmages in various venues in Batangas while Talk ‘N Text and Meralco are camping in Ilocos Norte. NLEX has opted to also go north as it conducts its practices in Clark, Pampanga.

“It’s a welcome development on the part of the league and we hope that we’re steps closer into bringing the teams to Manila,” Marcial told GMA News Online.

“But we’ll just have to clarify to the government what is and what is not allowed because as of now, we don’t know yet what’s really allowed.”

Marcial said the PBA is still on pace to open the Philippine Cup in June at the earliest, however, he said that a change in venue is also a possibility at this point.

Currently, only NCR and Bulacan have been placed to a general community quarantine with ‘some restrictions’ while fringe provinces like Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite are still under GCQ with heightened restrictions.

The PBA had initially planned to stage the season either in Antipolo or Pasig but with the former being in Rizal province, Marcial said it could force them to hold the tournament at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

“Actually, (former Mayor) Junjun Ynares is okay with the idea of holding the PBA in Antipolo but I think the COVID-19 cases are increasing in Rizal so it’s hard now,” said Marcial.

Marcial, though, said nothing has been cast in stone yet as they’re still observing the current situation.

“Let’s just see and wait. Let’s hope everything goes okay in the coming days.”

—JMB, GMA News

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