PHILIPPINE basketball will soon be back in the hardcourt after the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) laid out its restart guidelines for the sport.
The SBP patterned its guidelines after the Return To Basketball program created by International Basketball Federation or FIBA, the world governing body of the sport.
If the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Department of Health (DOH) will give its go signal, the SBP said that it will focus on individual training and the 3×3 and 5-on-5 events.
The IATF has given the green light for selected sports to resume under the modified general community quarantine but basketball was limited to drills only.
“It is the intention that basketball will return by referring to the SBP guidelines and the lifting of restrictions by the government and public health authority,” the SBP said in a statement.
Gilas Pilipinas, which is under the helm of the SBP, was supposed to compete in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers against Thailand last March but their game was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Also affected by the crisis was the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which the country was supposed to join also last March.
Local baskeball leagues like the PBA, NCAA, UAAP and MPBL have also postponed their games.
The PBA, though, has started seeking approval from the IATF to allow league players to return to practice and train in small groups as it seeks to hold at least one conference and salvage its 45th season.
The SBP clarified that the safety of all still remains as its top priority.
“While all of us are eager to go back to playing the sport we all love dearly, the guidelines cannot overemphasize the need to have the safety, health and well-being of our Philippine basketball family as paramount above all else,” SBP president Al Panlilio said in a statement.