PBA practices suspended 'until further notice'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2020 11:38 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) teams remain barred from holding practices and scrimmages, league commissioner Willie Marcial announced on Monday.

In a memorandum sent to all PBA teams, Marcial said the Office of the Commissioner is extending the break from practices, scrimmages, and other related activities "until further notice."

This, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has already claimed 25 lives in the Philippines. There are 380 reported cases in the country as of Sunday evening.

Metro Manila has been placed under "enhanced community quarantine" to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Marcial announced last March 13 that PBA teams are barred from practicing for two weeks because of the pandemic. The break was supposed to end on March 27.

The rising cases in the country, along with President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of "enhanced community quarantine," has compelled Marcial to extend the break.

"We ask for your full cooperation and compliance, and encourage everyone to stay fit and healthy in the confines and safety of their homes," Marcial said in his memorandum.

"Please continue to follow the guidelines set by our government health workers and standby for updates."

Without team practices, PBA players have been working out in their homes, with many documenting their workouts on social media. 

Several players have also stepped up to help the PBA's game-day personnel, with Alaska head coach Jeffrey Cariaso starting the initiative. Ginebra All-Star Japeth Aguilar and his wife, Cassandra, have also started a fund-raising drive to give surgical masks to health workers and front-liners.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).