WITH the expected go-signal from the IATF not coming, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial was forced to cancel the game pitting Blackwater against Magnolia yesterday.
Marcial said he was forced to make the move after the IATF stayed silent up to the 12 noon deadline he had set.
“Kagabi pa namin actually hinihintay at nu’ng di dumating, inilagay namin ng hanggang alas-dose kanina,” Marcial said. “Kasi beyond that baka mahihirapan naman sa preparasyon ang team. Walang sinasabi, so cancel kami.”
The IATF approval of any PBA request is part of the terms agreed upon covering the pro league bubble.
It marked the third time a game has been canceled since last Sunday, the same day the PBA announced that a Blackwater player tested positive for the coronavirus.
Blackwater’s match against Rain or Shine last Sunday was called off, as well as the TNT-NorthPort duel originally set last Monday since the Tropang Giga were also put in isolation for playing the Elite only last Oct. 22.
Marcial said he has already ordered his staff to make the necessary adjustments so the PBA target of finishing the eliminations by Nov. 11 and the Philippine Cup by Dec. 15 at the latest would be met.
“Gagawa ulit kami ng bagong schedule. Aayusin namin para ma-move sa later part ng eliminations,” said Marcial.
“Pati schedule sa gym, practices, sa swimming pool, sa weights room, sa kanilang training, bago lahat iyon,” added Marcial. “Kasi paggamit sa mga iyon, lahat may oras sila so di sila puwedeng magsabay-sabay. Kailangang i-adjust lahat iyon.”
“Baka November na kami maglaro ulit,” Blackwater coach Nash Racela said after his team’s bid to snap out of a two-game slide got another unwelcome delay, an opportunity he was looking forward to after being allowed to conduct practices Monday and Tuesday.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said they could use the additional rest since he and the Hotshots have just played Phoenix and Ginebra last Friday and Sunday, respectively, and are also set to see action against NorthPort tomorrow.
“So in terms of schedule, maganda para sa amin,” admitted Victolero. “Pero in terms of momentum, iyun nga, naudlot kasi nga galing na kami sa panalo (102-92 against the Kings).”