PBA commissioner Willie Marcial rules out holding another bubble

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial rules out holding another bubble

The PBA Governors' Cup started inside a "semi-bubble", but the league is not keen on going back in the said format. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—PBA commissioner Willie Marcial has ruled out having to play inside a bubble again.

The executive believes that a bubble would do more harm than in the open-circuit setting that it did during the Christmas season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hindi ko iniisip ang bubble sa ngayon, dahil para sa atin, baka hindi rin safe ito dahil paano kapag umuwi at makapagdala ng virus? Makakahawa pa ng kapamilya,” Marcial said.

The PBA Governors' Cup began with five doubleheaders from Dec. 8-12 played in a closed-circuit format at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

While it is not exactly a full bubble, everyone involved had to strictly adhere to a home-arena-home transportation format.

But with Metro Manila under Alert Level 2 then, which allows fully vaccinated fans to watch the games live at a 50-percent arena capacity limit, the league eventually looked at welcoming a live audience again.

The PBA got the approval from the Quezon City government to hold games back at the league's original home, the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

This led to the league going open-circuit for its games for the rest of December, attracting a crowd of as high as 4,843 paying patrons in one playdate.

The PBA was looking to hold its January games again at the said venue except for two twinbills at the middle of the month, which were supposed to take place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

But the ongoing COVID-19 spike that placed Metro Manila back to Alert Level 3 prompted the PBA to rethink about its plans, and it eventually led to its decision to just postpone the games instead of going bubble mode again.

[Related Story: PBA extends postponement 'until current COVID-19 surge eases']

“Alam nating napaka-importanteng maglaro, dahil dito sila kumikita, pero para sa kapakanan nating lahat, tigil muna tayo,” Marcial further said.

With this, he hinted that he would just wait for the province to go back to Alert Level 2 before mapping out the league's resumption plans.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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