PBA braces for threat of Covid-19

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    THERE is a distinct possibility of the PBA going import-less two of its three conferences this 45th season.

    No less than PBA commissioner Willie Marcial raised this possibility yesterday, citing the steadily growing threat of the novel coronavirus that is on the threshold of being a pandemic.

    That, according to Marcial, is something the PBA should brace itself for, especially in the import-laden Commissioner’s Cup and the Governors Cup.

    “Sana hindi na lumala at ma-contain na iyung Covid-19 threat, hindi lang para sa PBA kundi para sa bansa as a whole,” said Marcial during the league’s Media Day at the Grand Ballroom of the Okada Manila.

    “Otherwise, baka maging hesitant iyung mga imports na pumunta rito,” added Marcial.

    “Of course, there is that possibility na laganap pa rin iyang virus na iyan pagdating ng last two conferences so we have to draw up contingency plans ngayon pa lang.”

    Marcial also said he plans to convene the management committee which he heads to discuss such a worst-case scenario.

    “Malamang next week,” stated Marcial.

    The season-opening Philippine Cup, which starts March 8, will run for three months with the last two conferences being held in the country’s usual rainy months.

    The Commissioner’s Cup is set to unfold June 24 with the Governors Cup scheduled to start late October.

    The widespread virus has already affected the PBA, forcing the league to move back the opening by a week from its original March 1 playdate.