Return of fans not possible in Governors' Cup — Marcial

Published November 28, 2021, 9:20 PM

by Jonas Terrado

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial

The PBA could once again play without fans if plans to start the season-ending Governors’ Cup in December pushes through.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial made a quick mention of the possibility when asked about the timetable for the opening of the second conference in a television interview Sunday, Nov. 28.

Marcial also said during the broadcast of the PBA 3×3 tournament that the league may make an announcement this week even as they work on bringing back the games at the PBA’s old stomping grounds in Metro Manila.

“Siguro maglalabas kami within this week kung kailan talaga,” Marcial said. “Baka magsimula tayo ng wala pang mga fans at kakausapin pa namin ang mga LGUs. Tinatawag kami ng mga kanya-kanyang konseho para mag-present sa kanila.”

Plans to allow fans back at the venues under a limited capacity have been in the works, especially that the National Capital Region is under Alert Level 2 due to low cases of COVID-19.

Fans have not been seen at PBA games since March 2020 as a full bubble was staged later that year in Clark before this season’s Philippine Cup was held under a closed-circuit setup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City and in Bacolor, Pampanga.

A possible start in the middle of December will depend on the availability of all imports signed up by the 12 PBA ballclubs.

Nine reinforcements have either joined their team’s practices or are in the process of completing their mandatory quarantine period.

Teams continue to hold full practices and scrimmages in their respective facilities in Metro Manila in preparation for the Governors’ Cup, which returns after a one-year hiatus.

Each team plays 11 games in the eliminations with the top eight advancing to the quarterfinals of the conference which will stretch into early-2022.

The four best teams hold a twice-to-beat incentive with the semifinals being a best-of-five and the finals a best-of-seven.