Batangas City LGU OKs hosting of PBA team practices

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 2) – The Batangas City local government agreed to host the Philippine Basketball Association team practices, league commissioner Willie Marcial revealed on Sunday.

The agreement was made after Marcial had initial talks over the phone with Batangas City Mayor Beverly Dimacuha and Batangas 5th District Rep. Marvey Mariño.

The Batangas City Coliseum and the Batangas State University Gym, two venues where PBA games were played in past seasons, were offered by the city government to host the training sessions.

But despite the mutual agreement between the two sides, the PBA commissioner said a joint administrative order from different government agencies is still required to formalize the holding of team practices.

"Maybe our teams can start practices middle of May," said Marcial, who earlier targeted a June opening playdate of the league's 46th season.

Marcial added he will personally meet with Dimacuha and Mariño to further discuss the protocols in the team practices that will guide ball clubs who will opt to practice in Batangas City.

Around six to seven squads are eyeing to train in Batangas City while about one or two teams are looking to practice in Laoag City upon the invitation of Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc, Marcial also bared.

In a virtual press conference last April 29, Marcial first disclosed the possibility of Batangas City as host of the team practices since the area is under general community quarantine. Under the guidelines set by the national government, only small group practices are allowed.

Marcial also said he will meet with Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra to review the health and safety protocols in the conduct of team trainings.