PBA wants 'whole family' to be vaccinated before season start

PBA wants 'whole family' to be vaccinated before season start

Commissioner Willie Marcial will meet with the IATF to discuss how the PBA can begin its 46th season. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--As the PBA season has been put on hold anew due to the re-imposition of stricter COVID-19 measures in the NCR Plus area, the league now aims to first inoculate everyone before finally pushing through.

PBA board vice chairman Bobby Rosales said on Tuesday that the plan has been discussed during their meeting the day before.

"The first order of the day as discussed in the board will be for the whole PBA family to be vaccinated," said Rosales, the governor for Terrafirma.

He added that the supplies would not be a problem as Manny Pangilinan, the team owner of TNT, Meralco, and NLEX, and the San Miguel Corporation have committed to buy vaccines while Commissioner Willie Marcial has sought the help of the Philippine Red Cross as well.

"We believe that if everybody has been vaccinated, then it might be easier for the government through the IATF to allow the season to open," Rosales further said.

The PBA initially planned to open its 46th season right on its foundation on April 9, but it has been postponed twice to April 11 and later April 18 mainly due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation in the NCR Plus zone.

With the said area placed under the enhanced community quarantine and later the modified ECQ, the league is once again on a waiting game on when they can finally begin.

The PBA is looking at a closed circuit type of tournament hosting for this season with the Ynares Center in Antipolo as the main arena, although the league is not ruling out a possibility of holding another bubble.

According to Rosales, the vaccination of everyone in the PBA would make it easier for the board to decide on how the season will push through.

"We'd like to look at the vaccination of the whole PBA as the first option so that maybe we can get a better option than a bubble if the IATF will allow it," he further said.

Marcial confirmed that he will meet with the IATF next week to discuss the fate of the PBA.

He also hopes that the vaccines would arrive very soon so that the league can finally open its new season.

"By May or June, sana magkaroon kami ng vaccine," Marcial said.

Rosales added that once the vaccine finally takes full effect inside the players' bodies, the PBA can begin the season right away.

"We're looking at June the earliest," he further said, although Marcial added that it is also possible to have the games by the last week of May.

Both officials then said that if the season begins within the said period, the PBA can still hold two conferences with the possibility of finishing it by February next year.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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