‘Suspect’ case a wake-up call – Marcial

Published October 21, 2020, 10:36 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Willie Marcial
In this file photo, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial presides over a board meeting to discuss the proposed bubble tournament. (PBA Images)

ANGELES CITY–PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said Wednesday night that the report of a suspected Covid-19 case inside the bubble serves as a wake-up call for the whole delegation to adhere to the strict health protocols. 

“Wake-up call sa’tin ‘to na ‘wag tayo masyadong relax. Totoo naman na nasa bubble tayo pero ganun pa rin, kailangan natin sundin ‘yung protocols,” said Marcial after the doubleheader at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena. 

The PBA reported earlier that a referee tested positive for Covid-19 following his reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on Monday, October 19. 

The referee was rushed early Wednesday to the Athlete’s Village–the national quarantine facility–in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac to undergo a confirmatory RT-PCR test and a 14-day quarantine. The result will come out in three to five days, accoring to Marcial.

Later in the afternoon, the PBA, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said in a joint statement that the suspected case yielded a negative result from an antigen test at the Athlete’s Village, raising the possibility that he might be a false positive. 

“Sinasabi samin ng mga medical experts, mukhang false positive,” said Marcial. 

“Pero pinag-iingat pa rin natin. Katulad ng sinabi ko, hihintayin natin ang resulta kasi malamang false positive ito,” he added. 

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao, one of the prime movers of the PBA bubble in Pampanga, lauded the immediate action of the three parties on the incident.

“We really don’t know how it got here, where it came from but so far I have nothing but praises for how Clark, the BCDA and PBA itself have been conducting this tournament,” said Guiao after steering the Road Warriors to their first win in the bubble at the expense of NorthPort, 102-88. 

The former vice-governor of Pampanga added that there is no need to press the panic button yet. 

“The good thing about it is when something goes wrong, they’re still able to maintain control, they’re still able to run it professionally just like what we’re doing,” he said. 

“Sa akin I’m not really worried or in a state of panic or whatever. These people know what they’re doing. They can handle the situation.”

Meanwhile, Marcial said that Alaska and Blackwater’s requests for a swab retest were granted by the CDC and DOH. The two teams will be tested on Thursday starting at 9 a.m.