PBA assures safety of delegation, playdates continue at AUF

Published October 22, 2020, 9:13 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Rey Nambatac will spearhead the attack for Rain or Shine against Alaska. (PBA Images)

Games in the PBA Philippine Cup will continue at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center with the league putting premium on the well-being of everyone inside the bubble.

The PBA assured that everything’s under control even as a game official was placed under quarantine at the Athlete’s Village in Capas, Tarlac despite being asymptomatic.

Interestingly, the referee had a negative result from an antigen test upon arriving at the sprawling facility that was originally built for the hosting of the 30th SEA Games.

No wonder, the report of the suspected case sent a ripple effect among the teams, with discussions on safety serving as the main agenda on private group conversations.

Alaska and Blackwater also requested for a swab retest. The two teams are scheduled to undergo the procedure Thursday morning.

Under tight measures, the doubleheader on Wednesday proceeded hitch-free.

NLEX drubbed NorthPort, 102-88, while Barangay Ginebra San Miguel made easy work of Phoenix Super LPG, 86-71.

Unless there are sudden announcements, league-leader TNT is set to face Blackwater at 4 p.m. followed by Rain or Shine against Alaska at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday at AUF.

“There is a strict protocol in place and it has not been breached. All the risks are being evaluated by the PBA medical team, the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and the Department of Health (DOH),” the PBA said in a statement.

“All games are allowed to continue with even stricter measures which are already in effect inside the bubble and during games,” the league added, also saying that activities inside Clark, namely swimming, gym and jogging, among others, were temporarily suspended to give way to sanitization. 

“Rest assured that the safety and security of all is our paramount concern. Routine disinfection, wearing of masks, face shields and social/physical distancing are strictly being implemented, as well as an effective contact tracing procedure is in place to maintain the safety and integrity of the bubble,” the PBA said.

Read: ‘Suspect’ case a wake-up call – Marcial

The referee had tested negative in his previous three tests prior and during his entry in the bubble. He is set to be tested anew while being placed under strict observation while those he had contact with, including those present during Tuesday’s games, will be tested on Saturday, the PBA said.

Deputy commissioner Eric Castro said the referee was scheduled to undergo a confirmatory test yesterday but will still have to undergo a 14-day quarantine if test results come back negative.

Castro added that eight referees will temporarily work all games for the rest of the weekend, until their comrades receive negative test results.

If games push through, TNT seeks to stretch its unbeaten start to five games against a Blackwater side that absorbed a 120-98 loss to Alaska on Tuesday, the most lopsided result of the bubble.

Rain or Shine, also perfect, goes for win No. 4 but is wary of a Alaska side that is expected to enter the contest riding high on its romp of Blackwater.