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IATF okays PBA, women’s volleyball tilt

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the holding of the Philippine Basketball Association’s 46th season, and the country’s hosting of the 21st Asian Seniors Women’s volleyball championship, Malacañang said yesterday.

The IATF-EID approved the PBA’s request to allow the start of the league’s 46th season, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“This, however, is subject to the strict compliance of the health and safety protocols, as provided for under the guidelines of the Games and Amusement Board,” Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said.

The PBA originally set the holding of its 46th season on April 9 but the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic prevented the league from pursuing its plan.

The PBA commenced the Philippine Cup at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City yesterday.

The PBA will adopt a “closed-circuit” setup. Spectators will not be allowed in the venue to ensure the safety of the athletes and staff.

Games will be held at the Ynares Arena on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with triple-headers set for each playing date.

The PBA will launch its 3×3 tournament by mid-August.

All players, coaches, team personnel, referees, and league employees underwent a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test before the start of the season, and regular RT-PCR testing will be made on a 10-day cycle.

Roque also said the IATF-EID approved on Thursday the request of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation to host the Asian women’s volleyball tilt in the country.

The 21st edition of the Asian Seniors women’s volleyball tilt will be held from August 29 to September 5 in Clark and Subic.

This will be the third time that the Philippines will host the event.

The hosting rights were given to the country after Jiangmen, China withdrew.

The Philippines hosted the top-tier women’s championship in 1997 in Manila and 2017 in Laguna.

The PNVF is expecting 14 to 16 teams for the tournament.

The Philippines is already preparing for the tournament, with the majority of the country’s 16-member national women’s team already in a bubble training camp at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena in Laoag City.

Based on the Asian Volleyball Confederation’s rules, the 10 best-ranked teams in the previous Asian Seniors Women’s Volleyball Championship are automatically qualified to play in the next edition.

The teams include the 2019 champion Japan, runner-up Thailand, bronze medalist South Korea, China, Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei, Iran, Indonesia, Australia, and India.*PNA

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