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PBA opening likely to be moved anew after ECQ kept in NCR Plus

The PBA season opening is now looming to be postponed anew due to the lockdown extension. Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Another postponement of the PBA season opening is now imminent after presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced on Saturday night that the NCR Plus area consisting of Rizal, Metro Manila, and three more provinces will stay under the enhanced community quarantine for another week owing to the ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases.

Although he said that the lockdown might be loosened if proper medical measures would be in place next week, it might only be in the form of the modified ECQ in the following week, which will directly hit the PBA's recently planned opening night on April 18.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said recently that teams might need to practice for at least two weeks before jumping into action, which means the soonest possible date for the PBA opening at the moment is sometime in May.

The league has been planning a closed circuit setup for the season opening Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

However, the possibility of holding yet another bubble at an area outside NCR Plus just like last year might not be ruled out especially that some players recently expressed that they are fine with it.

The Games and Amusements has been reiterating that professional sports events can only take place in a town under the de facto "new normal", the modified general community quarantine, preferably through a bubble.

Another league that could be hit by the extended lockdown is the PVL.

The recently turned pro volleyball league is eyeing to open its own season during the early part of May, but with practices postponed anew due to the lockdown, there is a possibility that the league may push to a later start.

On the other hand, the waiting game continues on when the NBL can finally start its fourth season in the men's division and second in the women's division.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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