PBA: Hefty fines await violators of health protocols

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 14) — The Philippine Basketball Association is dead serious about keeping the safety of its players and coaches as the league prepares for the resumption of practices next week.

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, on Tuesday, warned that the league won’t hesitate to fine violators of its health protocols to ensure that guidelines would be strictly followed under the ‘closed circuit concept’.

“Ang players dapat sa bahay, sasakyan at gym lang so kailangan hindi ka aalis,” said Marcial during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association forum.

[Translation: The players' travel should be limited to their homes, their vehicles, and the gym.]

“Pag hindi ka nagsabi at nalaman namin na nag-sinungaling ka, first offense sa players ay ₱5,000 tapos dadagdag yun from ₱5,000 to ₱10,000 at ₱20,000.”

[Translation: If you didn't tell the truth and we found out about it, the first offense for players will be ₱5,000, then it will become ₱10,000, then ₱20,000.]

All players, coaches and team personnel will be required to log their daily whereabouts including essential trips to supermarkets or drugstores.

Meanwhile, heftier fines await those who will violate guidelines once team workouts begin.

Under the guidelines approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force, only four players, one coach and one safety officer at a time will be allowed inside the training facility. Practices will also be limited to individual workouts, conditioning exercises, and no scrimmages.

"Sabi ko sa mga players na mag-sabi kayo sa amin kung may violation ang safety officer ninyo. At kapag nalaman namin at napatunayan na may violation nga, ₱20,000 yung first offense,” warned Marcial.

[Translation: I told the players to tell us if their safety officers have violations. Once proven, there will be a ₱20,000 violation fee for first offense.]

The fine for succeeding offenses will likewise increase up to ₱100,000 for repeating violators.

All 12 teams are set to undergo swab testing at San Miguel Corporation’s laboratory before they are allowed to train on July 22. But in the event that a player tests positive for COVID-19, the league’s Board of Governors had already agreed that teams will shoulder the hospital expenses of its players.

According to Marcial, the PBA will again write a letter to the IATF come August for the resumption of team scrimmages. In the same month, league officials will be deciding on the fate of its 45th season that can restart the latest by October.

“Mid-October kaya pa namin yan. Pag lumampas ng mid-October, baka mag-cancel na tayo,” said Marcial.

[Translation: Mid-October is still doable. If it exceeds that, we might cancel.]