THE PBA can hold the D-League and Batang PBA anew, but this hinges largely on the approval of the government and the country’s vaccine rollout.
Pro league Commissioner Willie Marcial said holding both leagues are being considered by the PBA but stressed their priority now is to launch the league’s 46th season under a closed-circuit format on April 11.
Marcial said this was presented to the board recently, adding if given the green light by the Task Force, or if the vaccine finally becomes available, holding the D-League and Batang PBA is on the agenda.
After staging just eight games and being mothballed for six months, the season-opening Aspirant’s Cup and the D-League season were called off for good in September last year.
The drastically disrupted Aspirant’s Cup was suspended indefinitely last March at the start of the government-imposed lockdown to stem the spread of the lethal pulmonary disease.
Lone club team Marinerong Pilipino, along with Builders Warehouse-University of Santo Tomas and EcoOil-La Salle, were holding 2-0 records when action was stopped.
With Gilas Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin calling the shots and now Japan B. League Asian import Thirdy Ravena leading the way, Cignal-Ateneo bagged the Aspirant’s Cup crown in 2019, while BRT-Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare ruled the Foundation Cup.
It did not help that 11 squads in the 12-team field were school-based teams.
The Aspirant’s Cup is usually used by collegiate league squads to toughen up for their respective leagues such as the UAAP and the NCAA.
The season-ending Foundation Cup features club teams made up mostly of PBA rookie hopefuls and former pros.
The PBA is planning to hold a two-conference season and three conferences for the inaugural staging of PBA 3×3.
The Commission on Higher Education released the safety and health guidelines for the resumption of varsity training last October.
Nearly five months after, collegiate leagues are still waiting for green light from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The Philippine Sports Commission also crafted guidelines for the conduct of collegiate tournaments last December.