MANILA, Philippines -- The Blackwater Elite have been fined P100,000 after they returned to practice ahead of the official go-signal from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
The league is also set to launch an investigation after team owner Dioceldo Sy announced his intent to sell the franchise in the wake of the controversy.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial also told ABS-CBN News that the entire Blackwater team have to undergo swab testing for COVID-19. If they test negative and have no symptoms, they still have to undergo a seven-day quarantine, as per league protocol.
"Sana hindi ma-jeopardize 'yung ginawa natin sa gobyerno," said Marcial, as the league had gotten approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force for teams to return to practice last July 3.
The PBA is just waiting for official documents from the IATF and the Games and Amusements Board, as well as for teams to be tested completely, before hopefully returning to practice by next week.
The Elite, however, made an early return, as was confirmed by Sy himself during an online interview. After the PBA and the GAB sought an explanation from the team, Sy said on Wednesday night that he is thinking about selling the franchise.
He put a price tag of P150 million on Blackwater, and said his heart "is no longer there for the PBA."
"Regarding sa selling ng franchise, seryoso at mabigat 'yung sinabi ni Mr. Dioceldo," Marcial said. "Iimbestigahan namin."
"Pagkatapos ng imbestigasyon, papadala ko agad sa Board ang findings at recommendations," he added.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).