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'Quinta', COVID-19 wash out PFL opener

United City and the rest of the PFL field may have to wait for a few more days before they swing into action. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The bad weather being caused by Tropical Depression "Quinta" and the continuous threat of COVID-19 prompted the PFL to postpone its supposed triple-header to open its fourth season on Sunday.

“We put emphasis on the safety of each and every individual in the bubble, whether player, staff, or match official,” said Philippine Football Federation secretary general Atty. Edwin Gastanes on Saturday night.

Heavy rains have been drenching much of Southern Luzon on Saturday already due to Quinta, and it is expected to worsen once the storm makes landfall on Sunday night in the Bicol Region.

The latest PAGASA bulletin placed Cavite under signal number one, although the PFL quickly made the move earlier in the night.

The Azkals Development Team and Mendiola were scheduled to face off in the season opener, Kaya Iloilo and Stallion were to clash in a marquee match-up in the second game, and United City opens its title defense against newcomer Maharlika Manila in the nightcap of Sunday's fixtures at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Coco Torre confirmed that nine people who are currently in the semi-bubble set up at Seda Nuvali in Sta. Rosa City were tested positive for COVID-19.

Five players and one coach from two clubs were confirmed to have contracted the virus after the results of their swab tests on Wednesday were revealed.

The other three people, according to Torre, "admitted [that they] had a close contact with the player who was first to test positive."

He added, "We have anticipated this scenario hence there is a set of health and safety protocols in place for incidents such as this. What is important is that all continue to adhere with the protocols which are aimed to prevent or minimize the spread of the virus."

Torre earlier said that those tested positive for COVID-19 may be immediately taken out of the bubble.

Despite the latest developments, Gastanes said that the season will still continue.

“We hope to push through with kickoff in a few days,” he said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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