PBA eyes Batangas City as team practice venue

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 29) — The PBA is now looking at Batangas City as a possible venue for the teams to hold their practices as they prepare for the 2021 season.

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said he will go to the province on Saturday and talk to local government officials about the plan while the NCR Plus is still under modified enhanced community quarantine until May 14.

Batangas is under the more relaxed general community quarantine until May 31.

According to the PBA chief, scrimmages can begin once the teams get approval from the IATF and the local government unit, secure a joint administrative order, and fulfill the health protocols of the league. He noted that the full salaries of the players will return once all 12 teams start their scrimmages.

If the PBA gets approval from national government, Marcial said they are targeting a June tip-off and will have two conferences which will run until December.

Marcial emphasized the PBA can only start its 46th season once there's a significant decline in COVID-19 cases in the country.

"Even with a vaccine, if there is no decline in cases, there will be no games. The cases have to go down first," he said in Filipino during a virtual media briefing Thursday.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. will help the league procure the COVID-19 vaccines as President Rodrigo Duterte allowed the private sector to secure their own shots.

"Secretary Galvez will help us get the vaccine. This is different from the vaccines that will be purchased by the companies/teams," Marcial said.