NorthPort gets green light to play; Meralco, Alaska to miss games

Photo from PBA

NorthPort will finally see action in the PBA Philippine Cup after missing the first week of the restart in Bacolor, Pampanga due to COVID-19 protocols.

The Batang Pier are scheduled to return Thursday, Sept. 9 against the Blackwater Bossing before playing back-to-back this weekend opposite the Terrafirma Dyip on Saturday, Sept. 11 and NLEX Road Warriors on Sunday, Sept. 12.

Currently at 1-3, NorthPort is hoping to get things back even though it failed to see action in the first playdates of the resumption in accordance with the league’s health and safety guidelines.

But the Batang Pier will play without coach Pido Jarencio and the rest of his staff due to the said protocols, with team manager Bonnie Tan set to call the shots on a temporary basis.

Tan is no stranger to coaching, having steered Letran to the NCAA championship in 2019.

Same protocols will prevent Meralco and Alaska from playing this week after each team saw one of their games postponed.

Alaska was supposed to face San Miguel Beer last Sept. 4 while Meralco should have played defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel the following day.

No details were given by the league but the recent postponements have led to concerns about the semi-bubble concept being observed in Pampanga.

This week’s matches kick off with a tripleheader at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Wednesday, Sept. 8 with Magnolia facing NLEX at 12:30 p.m., TNT battling San Miguel at 3 p.m. and Ginebra versus Rain or Shine at 6 p.m.

The other game on Thursday will see Terrafirma attempt to stretch its amazing run to four straight wins following a 0-4 start against Phoenix at 2 p.m. before the NorthPort-Blackwater match at 4:35 p.m.

Magnolia will again open a tripleheader Friday, Sept. 10 with Rain or Shine at 12:30 p.m., TNT takes on NLEX at 3 p.m. before Ginebra and San Miguel slug it off at 6 p.m.

The Terrafirma-NorthPort match kicks off the Saturday twinbill at 2 p.m. to be followed by Blackwater and Phoenix at 4:35 p.m.

Second week hostilities wrap up Sunday with SMB-ROS at 2 p.m., TNT-Ginebra at 4:35 p.m. and NorthPort-NLEX at 7 p.m.