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Lessons from PBA

Instead of going after golf clubs and members for protocol violations, they should instead sit down and listen to stakeholders on how to resume tournaments safely, like what the PBA did.

Rey Bancod

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The good news is that the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is finally resuming on 11 October under the “bubble” in Clark, Angeles.

After months of reading and watching reports about the number of coronavirus cases, Filipino fans get a reprieve by counting baskets instead.

Kudos to Commissioner Willie Marcial, who despite his seemingly happy-go-lucky persona, gets the job done.

I had no doubt that if there’s any organization that can bring back sports activities in the country, it is the PBA.

It is run by people with passion for sports, not to mention deep pockets.

The cost of running a “bubble” tournament is no peanuts. Housing and feeding 350 people, including support staff for two months is no joke.

That’s the only first part of the challenge.

To convince them to stay inside the bubble, away from their families is another thing.

That entails a huge sacrifice for everyone, including our media colleagues who will be “incarcerated” for two months.

There is more at stake than just the resumption of the country’s biggest sports entertainment.

The future of other sporting events is on the line as well.

There are few amateur sports that have been allowed to be played under the coronavirus pandemic, but none is allowed to hold tournaments.

It is a pity because sports plays a big part in promoting health among the people, yet officials could not find ways to safely organize tournaments.

Worse, they are the ones stopping initiatives to restart activities, particularly in golf clubs.

Vince Dizon, the deputy chief implementer of the national COVID-19 task force, said the PBA was given provisional authority because its health measures are strict and stringent than that of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) group, which is composed of the Philippine Sports Commission, Department of Health and Games and Amusement Board.

If that is not an indictment, I don’t know what is.

In its zeal and enthusiasm to enforce protocols, the JAO group may have forgotten its most important objective: Help get sports back on its feet.

Lately, JAO is busy looking into alleged tournaments held in golf clubs, as if members have committed a capital crime.

Instead of going after golf clubs and members for protocol violations, they should sit down and listen to stakeholders on how to resume tournaments safely, like what the PBA did.

Sports without competition is like driving a Ferrari on EDSA during rush hour.

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