OUTSIDE factors have forced some changes in the PBA’s plans about its season resumption.
The PBA is seriously mulling making some adjustments of its own to squeeze through a projected window of opportunity being made narrower by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
According to Commissioner Willie Marcial, a change in format in the Philippine Cup would be in order should the league be unable to play games by mid-October at the latest.
“Kapag tingin namin maiipit ng husto baka baguhin natin,” Marcial told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
“Puwede naman nating i-adjust ang format kung kinakailangan, halimbawa kapag nakitang gagahulin tayo,” added Marcial. “Pero kung hindi naman… basta titingnan natin.”
After kicking off last March 8 the Philippine Cup eliminations was supposed to wind up its 66-game eliminations on May 16. Then the eight-team quarterfinals were supposed to be wrapped up within a week with the semifinals and finals, both best-of-seven affairs, immediately being held.
Marcial did not disclose what the changes would be, but one should be playing doubleheaders for four days each week.
“Kapag apat na araw tayong naglaro, labing-anim na laro isang buwan, mahahabol natin iyung schedule, ‘yung timeline na matapos tayo by the third week of January, mga Jan. 20, at the latest,” he said.
Such cramming seems needed if the PBA wants to kick off next season as scheduled.
The PBA has initially set its players’ return to the practice gyms either on July 20 or 22 but got an unwelcome delay when a copy of the joint administrative order allowing such sessions reached league offices only last Monday.
Then came another snag: players from nine of the 12 teams can only undergo mandatory swab testing either on Aug. 6 or 7, the only dates available at the Makati Medical Center.
San Miguel Beer, Magnolia and Ginebra would have their own tests done at the SMC facilities.
Only when the results of such tests come out negative would the players be allowed their conditioning workouts, now pushed back to either Aug. 10 or 11.
Those setbacks pushed the PBA’s originally-projected September resumption back.
“Antay na lang muna natin matapos talaga yung swab testing… nauudlot,” said Marcial. “Gusto talaga natin magsimula na pero ito ang binibigay ng pagkakataon.”