Rising cases of COVID-19 a concern for PBA chief

Published March 9, 2021, 12:59 AM

by Waylon Galvez

Photo from PBA

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the sharp increase of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila may force the league to reconsider the opening date of the Philippine Cup.

Tentatively set to fire off on April 9, the 46th PBA season begins with the All-Filipino conference, a few months after Barangay Ginebra won the title against the TNT Tropang Giga inside a bubble tournament in Pampanga.

The target date might change, according to Marcial, as daily reports of more than 3,000 new infections cause an alarm to the league as PBA prioritizes the safety of the players and the team staff.

“Una, concern sa atin kasi para ito sa mga kababayan natin, and ikalawa baka mahirapan pa tayo (First, it’s a concern because we keep in mind the welfare of our countrymen. Second, it may be tough),” Marcial said Sunday night.

Marcial recently met with Senator Bong Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea Malacañang. The discussion centered on the bubble tournament last year and the possibility of bringing back the action under strict health protocols.

Prior to the meeting, Marcial sent a letter to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to allow teams conduct five-on-five scrimmages on practice sessions.

Because of the current situation on COVID-19 cases, Marcial said he is waiting for the right time to follow up on the request.

Meantime, the league chief said the Commissioner’s Office already requested the Red Cross to include all involved with the PBA to get a vaccine against the deadly virus.