|The PBA Draft Combine has become a staple in recent years. PBA Images (file photo)|
MANILA--In a huge twist to this year's PBA Draft, the league has decided not to push through with its major pre-draft activity, the combine.
Despite the looming possibility of Metro Manila being placed under modified general community quarantine next month, the PBA scratched off the draft combine, scheduled for March 10-11, to keep everyone supposed to be involved especially the draft aspirants safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The league's paramount duty and responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of all participants and staff that extra precautions are continuously in place to minimize/eliminate the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus," the PBA said in a statement on Friday.
A major factor in ruling the combine out is the fact that some of the draftees are still outside Metro Manila, especially who are currently overseas as they have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival even if they already got vaccinated.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, however, allowed some aspirants who are part of the MPBL Final 4 to take part of regional league's proposed bubble in Subic Bay.
The MPBL, however, can only resume its national playoffs despite its insistence of staying de jure amateur if a joint administrative order for amateur sports has been placed and if Subic Bay clears the league to play on.
On the other hand, despite the cancellation of the combine, the online PBA Draft will push through as scheduled on March 14.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno