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MANILA, Philippines – The PBA changed its mask and distance protocols a week into its 46th season, which has already seen four games postponed.
Players sitting on the bench are strictly required to keep their masks on during the game, while the coaches may only remove their masks when giving instructions. However, they are advised to put it back on after speaking to their players.
Only the 10 players active in the game are exempt from wearing their masks.
Teams violating the protocols will be cautioned during the match, but will be struck with a corresponding technical foul for incorrect bench decor if they do not heed the referees’ calls.
Players will also be assigned seats, marked by their jersey number, in a pre-game arrangement given upon arrival at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Players’ personal belongings such as towels, water bottles, masks and other essentials must be placed on the left side of their seats, while their warmers are left on their respective seats once they enter the game.
Players who are eliminated will go to a rest area next to the team bench to catch their breath before returning to his seat and wearing his mask.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said the new health protocols were applied as part of the league’s efforts to improve the safety of players, coaches and other staff during the season.
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