SMART CLARK GIGA CITY–The race to the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs gets more intense as the league on Sunday came up with a compact revised schedule to compensate for the recent postponement.
Five quadruple-headers–a rare sight in the league’s 45-year existence–headline the new elimination round schedule as the officials decided to compress the remaining 30 games in just nine days following the suspension of four playdates and a total of 12 games.
Two triple-headers and two double-headers sum up the amended timetable after the PBA was forced to have a four-day break starting last Friday upon the recommendation of the IATF and DOH to halt the league on the heels of two false positive cases.
Games will resume on Tuesday, November 3, with a four-game day that will fire off at 10 a.m. at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena.
Magnolia, Meralco, TNT, Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel, Rain or Shine, NorthPort, Blackwater and Terrafirma all have back-to-back assignments after seeing action in six games and below.
Alaska, which already played the most games at eight, will have a rest in between game days together with Phoenix and NLEX, which both had seven outings,
“Ang hirap (gawin ng bagong schedule) kasi kailangan isiksik namin. Humihingi ako ng pasensya sa mga teams pero ganun talaga kailangan natin ‘to gawin,” PBA commissioner Willie Marcial told the Bulletin-Tempo in a phone interview, as the league is eyeing to finish the bubble season before Christmas.
Preparation and conditioning will be the keys for all the teams as practices have resumed on Sunday with Clark still not feeling the damaging effects of super typhoon Rolly.
All the teams made the most out of the four-day pause as they went on with their activities inside the Quest Hotel such as gym workouts, pool training, jogging and running.
“Balanced naman ‘yung line-up ngayon ng lahat. It’s up to the teams na lang kung paano mag-prepare,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.
“It is what it is. We’re all in the same boat here,” said Meralco mentor Norman Black. “It’s a challenge that we have to face and we just have to deal with it.”
Meanwhile, the bubble remained safe and intact as all 12 teams tested negative on the third cycle of RT-PCR testing.