GAB issues stern warning to Blackwater over violation

The Blackwater Elite dodged a stiff penalty from the Games and Amusement Board Tuesday as the government agency overseeing professional sports instead issued a "stern warning and admonition" in connection to the Elite's recent violation of the health protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force.

"The GAB has issued a stern warning and has admonished (the) Blackwater PBA team for practicing in violation of IATF rules and safety protocols," GAB chairman Abraham "Baham" Mitra said in an official statement shortly after their board meeting on Tuesday.

Mitra shared that the GAB has taken into consideration the PBA's swift action that saw the professional cage league slap a hefty 100,000-peso fine and order the entire team to undergo swab testing and quarantine.

Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy took the initiative to meet and "personally apologize" to the GAB chief for what had happened. Mitra accepted the apology during their meeting over a week ago.

"So far, the foregoing measures, together with the team's commitment to abide by the newly-issued JAO (Joint Administrative Order) between GAB, Department of Health and the Philippine Sports Commissioner have been deemed sufficient, without prejudice to any further sanction that the IATF and/or DOH may deem necessary under the circumstances," he added in the statement.

PBA teams and other professional sports teams are already allowed to resume training. However, league commissioner Willie Marcial has mandated that practices will only be in full swing once all players, coaches and involved personnel clear the PBA-mandated swab tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The league has set aside August 6 and 7 as the dates for testing on at the Makati Medical Center.