By JONAS TERRADO
The PBA will restore the salaries of players, coaches and staff in full on May 18 when teams are expected to begin holding 5-on-5 scrimmages in areas under General Community Quarantine.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial made that assurance even as he asked for the cooperation of the teams in order for the scrimmages to be successful.
Players, coaches and staff, including Marcial and PBA employees, are currently under a 20-percent salary deduction as part of measures to deal with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exempted from the ongoing paycut are those who are part of the utility.
“Maglalabas ako ng memo na pag okay na May 18 magiging normal na ulit ang salary,” Marcial said. “Pero kung magpapraktis ka before 18, may salary cut ka pa rin.”
The PBA got a big boost in its bid to start the season next month after its request for scrimmages under GCQ was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force last week.
Batangas City gave its nod for teams to hold scrimmages once health and safety protocols are put in place.
But the league is also awaiting word on whether the government will extend the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine regulations in Metro Manila and provinces under NCR Plus after May 14.
If regulations are placed back to GCQ, PBA teams will likely hold practices either at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City or Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The PBA is giving teams a month of practice before pondering on asking the government if the season can push through.
Marcial had discussions with coaches and team managers through a virtual session Monday where he reiterated the importance of making sure scrimmages won’t encounter a situation that could jeopardize the season.
“Sabi ko ‘Kayo ang makaka-make or break nitong season na to, kaya alagaan natin mabuti para mapakita natin na okay ang scrimmages. Pag okay ang mga scrimmages, baka simula na tayo ng season natin,” said Marcial.