THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) issued separate advisories on the suspension of sports training and activities as stricter restrictions were raised over the National Capital Region and nearby provinces because of the spike in coronavirus cases.

The local sports governing bodies saw fit to issue directives as the government placed the Greater Manila Area under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) beginning Monday, March 29, until April 4 to help stem the coronavirus’ spread.

In the PSC advisory, all national sports associations (NSAs) are directed to temporarily cease both indoor and outdoor training of national athletes in areas under “National Capital Region Plus,” or areas where an ECQ setup is placed.

These areas cover Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

The PSC is urging NSAs to have their athletes do online individual training for now and avoid group activities until allowed back.

It also urged national team members to follow health and safety protocols issued by the health department and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

One of those affected by the directive was Gilas Pilipinas, which on Monday decided to break its training “bubble” camp at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

The national men’s basketball team of cadets and varsity players was in the bubble since mid-March to prepare for upcoming tournaments slated for the middle of this year, namely, the third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in Clark, Pampanga, and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia.

Gilas in compliance with the directive broke camp and said it would craft the direction it would take moving forward based on further moves of the government.

Meanwhile, professional sports governing agency GAB’s memo also covers the same time frame as that of the PSC.

It said health-enhancing activities like running, biking and aerobics are currently prohibited, while “professional sports training shall remain limited to solo or individual activities conducted indoors or anywhere within the individual’s private property.”

Professional sports competition and group training in areas under ECQ are not allowed. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo