MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is working with Magnolia coach Chito Victolero's sportswear company to produce personal protective equipment (PPEs) for health care workers, commissioner Willie Marcial confirmed.
Victolero's CHLOMARS Sportswear has served as an outfitter for several basketball teams, including Magnolia and San Miguel Beer. In the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, however, it has shifted its focus to producing PPEs.
Marcial told the league website that the PBA is acquiring PPEs from CHLOMARS Sportswear, as well as LGR Sportswear, which has also been making the suits for frontliners.
"May bago pa kaming order kay Chito for our second wave (of donations)," Marcial said.
The PBA has committed to donating P1 million to relief efforts, with sponsor Gillette and Barangay Ginebra's Stanley Pringle adding P500,00 and P150,000, respectively, to the cause.
The league has already donated PPEs to hospitals in Pasig, Antipolo, and Quezon City. For their second wave, they are looking to deliver PPEs to hospitals in Pasay City.
Victolero, meanwhile, said this was their "small way of helping out" the country as it deals with the pandemic that has affected over 3.2 million globally.
"Tigil lahat ng negosyo ngayon, kaya oras ng tumulong sa taong-bayan na naghihirap," said Victolero, who is also giving out the protective suits to his own neighbors. "Hangga't kaya namin makatulong, tutulong kami."
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Philippines had 8,212 reported cases of COVID-19, with 1,023 recoveries and 558 deaths.
The PBA, like virtually all leagues in the world, has been greatly impacted by the pandemic. All league activities have been suspended since March and Marcial has admitted that cancelling the rest of the season is a possibility.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).