Games and Amusements Board (GAB) have issued a memo on Monday suspending batch practices of professional athletes within the NCR-plus as it has been placed on a one-week lockdown.

/ 31 March 2021

“In view of the alarming spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, the conduct of all health-enhancing activities and professional sports shall remain limited to solo or individual activities conducted indoors and anywhere within the individual’s private property beginning March 29 to April 4,” the statement read.

Among the professional leagues being affected were the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and Philippine Volleyball League (PVL) who are training inside a bubble in their respective GAB and LGU-approved facilities.

With group trainings being called off, PBA and PVL have yet to announced the new schedule of their season this year which was initially penciled in April and May, respectively.

Philippine Football League (PFL) have deferred the Copa Paulino Alcantara and pushed back their season start to July.

National Basketball League (NBL) and Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) have also postponed their plans for their respective 2021 season due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“We want to stress that the safety of the teams and the players is our top priority before we push through with the season-opening,” said NBL/WNBL Chairman Celso Mercado.

GAB Chairman Abraham Mitra personally appealed to the athletes to stay in their homes and conduct their training indoors in the meantime.

“As always, ang priority po natin sa GAB ay ang seguridad at kalusugan ng ating mga atleta at mga indibidwal na nasa pangangasiwa ng GAB. Mataas po ang bilang ng kaso ng COVID-19 kung kaya’t makabubuting manatili na muna tayo at sa bahay na lang mag-ensayo muna,” said Mitra.

The ECQ status supposedly ending on Easter Sunday will remain uncertain as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will be reviewing whether or not to extend the lockdown in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces.