With the non-professional leagues Philippine Superliga (PSL) and Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) returning to action, San Beda Red Lions' management is looking forward to the return of college sports practices.

/ 13 March 2021

PSL held the first volleyball event in a bubble setup in Subic Freeport last February 26 to 28 since the lockdown occurred due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, MPBL continued the remaining games of the Lakan Cup on Wednesday at the Subic Bay Stadium in a bubble format as well.

With the non-pro leagues returning to action, San Beda Red Lions Coach Boyet Fernandez hoped that at least practices for collegiate sports can resume.

“I am happy that the MPBL was given the go-signal to finish their season. It is my fervent hope that the IATF will also allow the resumption of college team sports training,” he said in an interview with Spin.ph.

PSL and MPBL not being under the sanction of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) were allowed to hold their events given that they were given the green light by the respective local government units and are following government-mandated health protocols.

According to the memorandum by the Department of Health on February 18, club leagues that are considered to be “de jure amateur” or where players were only paid allowances, can play on in a bubble setting provided that they “shall have a national government agency (NGA) sponsoring the conduct of the activity.”

However, this will not be the same with college teams as they will not be able to return to camp until face-to-face classes were allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Moreover, they are under the jurisdiction of PSC and will be needing the approval of the Commission on Higher Education before they can resume training while under the pandemic.

Red Lions’ Team Manager Jude Roque asserted that if given the green light for training, they will comply with the health protocols and will only conduct workouts in small batches.

“We can start with just small group training and then slowly progress. We will surely comply with strict protocols,” said Roque.

According to Fernandez, the Red Lions have been training individually in their homes and it has been a year since they last gathered.

“With that, we learned how to be more vigilant and follow health protocols during those months we are training individually,” Fernandez added.

“I  just hope and pray, in the coming days or months, that the IATF will give the green light to the proposed training guidelines on a bubble set-up by the CHED for college sports training to resume. I believe this is safer for our student-athletes as we are able to monitor them and also ensure that the training facilities are well sanitized as opposed to them looking for venues on their own for individual skills training.”