THE rest of the PBA season is still shrouded in uncertainty and a meeting today should help clear some matters up.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial yesterday said chairman Ricky Vargas of TNT has requested a video conference among the other governors to be held late afternoon to decide the league’s next course of action after the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) threat has been contained.
“Titingnan ng Board ang sitwasyon at pag-aaralan kung ano ang magandang gawin,” Marcial told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
Marcial also said the league could resume in June at the earliest as he needs to give the teams enough time to prepare for the Philippine Cup.
“Ang nakikita kong pinaka-maagang balik ng PBA ay June. Kasi even if the country is able to flatten the COVID-19 curve in April or May, I have to give our teams a month of practices before we resume play,” explained Marcial.
The PBA has so far played only one game in the season-opening Philippine Cup last March 8 before being forced to suspend its games starting last March 11, even before President Duterte placed Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine initially set to last until April 12
The government extending its ECQ period would also play a part. An announcement to such an effect is expected later yesterday,
“Kung magtatagal pa itong ECQ siyempre ganoon din tayo kasi sumusunod lang naman tayo sa gobyerno,” said Marcial.
Reducing the usual number of season conferences from three to two is one option, admitted Marcial, but that could be a costly move since there are commitments to the number of exposures for each of the 12 teams. Even if the teams waive that off, there is the matter of the required number of spots the PBA’s advertisers must have for each conference.
“Depende lahat sa desisyon ng mga governors bukas,” said Marcial. “Lahat ng next moves namin nakasalalay doon.”
There is one thing Marcial is proud of and that is the way the PBA family, from the team owners, governors, coaches, players and staff, for their efforts in coming to the aid of those in need during this crisis.
“Saludo tayo sa ating mga team owners, governors, coaches, players at staff sa kanilang efforts to give relief, food, shelter, necessary services and essential commodities to those in need and in the frontlines,” said Marcial.
“Halos lahat gumagawa ng paraan upang makatulong sa mga nangangailangan.”
President Duterte recently expressed his gratitude to captains of industry and big businessmen for joining hands with the government in alleviating the plight of the less fortunate in this trying time. The Chief Executive mentioned PBA team owners Manny V. Pangilinan TNT, Meralco and NLEX), Ramon S. Ang (San Miguel Beer, Magnolia and Ginebra) and Dennis Uy (Phoenix) among the business leaders.
Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso and players Kiefer Ravena, Harvey Carey, Nico Salva, CJ Perez, Cliff Hodge, Chris Ross, Jio Jalalon, Calvin Abueva, Paul Desiderio, Ryan Arana, LA Tenorio, June Mar Fajardo, Diego Dario, Vic Manuel and Beau Belga, among many others, have contributed to help out daily wage-earners, frontliners, first responders and service providers.
“Ang inyong PBA ay kaagapay ng sambayanang Pilipino sa laban kontra sa coronavirus,” said Marcial in a message to fans. “Sundin natin lahat ng protocol ng Department of Health at ng ating gobyerno. Higit sa lahat, ipagpatuloy natin ang dasal sa Panginoon na makaraos tayo sa ganitong krisis.”