PBA board tackles start of 46th season in Monday’s meeting

Published April 18, 2021, 3:01 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Willie Marcial
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial (PBA Images)

How the PBA can start its 46th season despite the recent surge in COVID-19 cases is among a long list of agendas that will be tackled in a board meeting set Monday, April 19.

Commissioner Willie Marcial and members of the league’s Board of Governors will convene at 1 p.m. through face-to-face encounter at the PBA Office in Libis or via Zoom where they’ll craft new ways for the delayed season to start.

The PBA was supposed to kick off the new season Sunday, April 18, but the government placed Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) earlier this month, resulting in the stoppage of group workouts.

The said areas known as NCR Plus is currently under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), which still prohibits group workouts. 

Only areas in General Community Quarantine are permitted to hold practices by groups while games can be held in places under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

Marcial said Season 46 could start in late-May or early-June, but that still depends if the COVID-19 situation improves in the coming weeks.

The PBA prefers to stage the season in a closed-circuit scenario which will limit the movement of teams from their homes to playing venues or respective practice facilities, with the Ynares Center in Antipolo City as a possible site.

Several players and coaches expressed interest in holding another bubble like last season’s Philippine Cup in Pampanga, but the PBA is taking into consideration the mental challenges and financial aspect of such arrangement.

The league spent at least P65 million in staging the two-month Philippine Cup bubble.

Another matter to be discussed is the feasibility of a possible exhibition between PBA selection to face off the Chinese national team which was suggested by league chairman Ricky Vargas earlier this week.

The league will also discuss the preparation of the national 3×3 team that will compete in next month’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz and development surrounding the PBA’s 3×3 tournament.