MANILA, Philippines -- The teams of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will take care of the bills, should their players need treatment from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
This was the assurance made by PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial after the Board of Governors met on Saturday, a day after he met with coaches and team managers to discuss the league's protocols for their return to practices.
Marcial told ABS-CBN News in a previous interview that one of the concerns raised by players during their meeting last June 23 was the possibility of testing positive for COVID-19, and who would cover their medical expenses. The commissioner initially floated the idea of acquiring insurance.
"Sasagutin ng teams lahat ng hospital expenses pag nagka-COVID ang players, just like when players get injured," said Marcial, as per a report on the league website. "So there's no need for any insurance."
Teams will also shoulder the costs of COVID-19 testing, which will be conducted by the San Miguel Corp. laboratory. All testing will be done via Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction or swab testing, as opposed to the initial recommendation of rapid-swab-rapid tests every 10 days.
Several teams -- including the teams of the SMC group -- have previously tested their players. No player has returned a positive test so far.
Teams are now allowed to hold individual player workouts, a little over a week after the league received approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force regarding its protocols.
The PBA's next step is to ask for permission to resume scrimmages, in the hopes of pushing through with its 45th season that was put on hold last March because of the health crisis.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).