The Games and Amusement Board (GAB) has ordered all sporting leagues to revert to “individual backyard training” as the Philippine government has re-imposed the enhanced community quarantine for the National Capital Region and four nearby provinces.
The restrictions were placed on sports due to the rise in new COVID-19 cases throughout the country. Over the weekend, new topics reached a new record high with over 10k new cases.
The enhanced community quarantine is in place until April 4th but depending on how many new cases are reported during that time; the restrictions could be extended. While the GAB order only extends to professional sports, other amateur leagues operating in those regions are also subject to the same restrictions.
The GAB chairman Abraham Mitra told reporters that “professional sports competitions and group training” are prohibited in the restricted regions and that athletes should train indoors at home.
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) imposed a non-contact strength and sport-specific training on the league in February. Still, now they will be forced to pause their training methods under the new restrictions.
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao told the press that it is unfortunate for the league to have to pause training, but athletes will find ways to keep themselves in shape and not waste the next few days.
Gilas Pilipinas Pool will also have to pause training due to the restrictions. The new conditions came as the team prepared for the FIBA basketball competitions scheduled in the upcoming months.
Samahang Basketball Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio stated to media sources that “it’s been a difficult stretch for the SBP and the team as COVID-19 has affected so many plans, but we have no choice but to adjust and move forward.”
Other leagues affected by the NCR restrictions include the Premier Volleyball League (PVL), which will also pause their batch training.
While safety for all Filipinos is the primary concern for the new restrictions, sports fans will have to wait a little longer before the stadiums fill up again and sports return to normal.