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PBA to look at COVID-19 situation before considering MM return

The PBA can return to Metro Manila to continue the Philippine Cup, but the league will first monitor the COVID-19 situation there. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The PBA could find itself back in Metro Manila very soon as the province will be placed again under general community quarantine beginning Wednesday.

Commissioner Willie Marcial bared on Monday that the league might play the Philippine Cup playoffs somewhere in National Capital Region, more likely the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

But according to him, the PBA will first take a look at the situation in the Bacolor semi-bubble and see if it's a good call to go back.

"Kung walang aberya, kung maganda tinatakbo natin by Sept. 19, tapos na eliminations natin. Tatapusin ko muna iyong eliminations dito. Tignan natin, pero talagang babalik tayo," Marcial said.

There were some setbacks during the first week of the PBA resumption as NorthPort was not cleared to play and two games were postponed in line with the league's health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite all of these, Marcial said, "As of now OK naman. Hindi pa alarming at maganda ang tinatakbo ng teams. So far so good."

He added that the PBA will also check out if the pilot implementation of the granular lockdowns would be effective enough to make the National Capital Region safe enough to hold games anew there until October or not.

The Philippine Cup is expected to finish by around October.

On the other hand, in the announcement of Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, Metro Manila will be under GCQ until Sept. 30 as the Inter-Agency Task Force does away with implementing more stringent restrictions within the region in favor of granular lockdowns, which will only close various areas heavily affected by COVID-19 cases for the time being.

"Hindi pa tayo sigurado baka mamaya ibalik muli nila ito sa ECQ (enhanced community quarantine or MECQ). Titignan muna natin pagkatapos ng Sept. 30 kung tuloy-tuloy na," Marcial added.

The IATF only allows the PBA to resume action in an area either under GCQ or MGCQ.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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