TNT, SLEX STARTS GROUP PRACTICES; SMB, MERALCO, OTHER TEAMS SOON TO FOLLOW
TnT Tropang Giga and sister team NLEX Road Warriors were the first teams to conduct individual training two months before the PBA 46th season officially kicks off.
A runner-up finish in last year’s Philippine Cup bubble campaign does not satisfy the Tropang Giga.
The umbrella franchise of the Manny V. Pangilinan group initiated their group training this week at the Moro Lorenzo gym, while the Road Warriors entered their new training facility at the Epsilon Chi Fitness Center inside the University of the Philippines as they began their squad practices on Thursday.
“Yes, but by group lang,” disclosed TnT coach Bong Ravena on Spin.ph.
“The Road Warriors started (practicing) after meeting all the requirements from GAB (Games and Amusement Board) and the PBA, including swab test last Tuesday,” said NLEX management in a statement.
NLEX fell short during the playoffs of the all-Filipino last season but concluded its campaign in the bubble on a high note after winning four of its last five games.
Coach Yeng Guiao uttered that the squad treated its bubble campaign as sort of a training camp heading to the new season that is set to start this April.
Moreover, teams such as San Miguel, NorthPort, and Meralco, are scheduled to begin their respective workouts by Monday.
The rest will follow suit in the coming weeks, with reigning Philippine Cup champion Barangay Ginebra reportedly expecting a late February or early March comeback.
GAB chairman Abraham Mitra and his staff had been busy these past few weeks doing visitations in training facilities to check on the safety measures of the practice venues to be used by each team.
The Local Government Unit (LGU) authorization where the playing facility is located is likewise a necessity for a team to be able to conduct practices.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Willie Marcial again reminded the revised workout protocols signed by the league where five players per batches are now allowed to train.
Furthermore, five other personnel, whether be coaches, utility men, or health officers, are also permitted to accompany the players during their training.
“Dati (kasi) four plus two. Pero ngayon five plus five na. Yung five, mga coaches or PTs,” he said.
“Basta bahala yung teams kung sino ipapadala nila, pero yung bilang ng tao five plus five.”
According to the commissioner, the rest of the health protocols previously observed during team workouts stay the same