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PBA Govs' Cup set for February restart

After a full month off, the PBA is returning to action in February. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The PBA Governors' Cup is resuming next month.

The league's board of governors has given the go-signal for the season-ending conference to restart in early February.

In a virtual meeting on Monday, the PBA board unanimously approved the motion for the resumption of play as Metro Manila is bouncing back from the recent surge in COVID-19 cases mainly caused by the omicron variant, which stalled the league for the entire month of January.

From as high as 38,867 new cases nationwide on Jan. 15, only 24,938 fresh COVID-19 infections were reported on Monday while 35,461 recoveries were reported, a sign that the Philippines is about to thrive through the latest spike.

Much of that is attributed to the downward trend in the metropolis, which according to OCTA Research fellow Guido David is now posting a -50 percent growth rate, that is, the number of new cases reported is just half of the number from last week, even as the reproduction rate is back to flat one.

On how the PBA will continue amid the pandemic remains to be seen.

Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra confirmed on Friday in the Sports on Air Weekly podcast that his agency appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the league to hold a home-arena-home bubble format barring the quarantine status for Metro Manila for the first half of February.

Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 3, which only allows professional sports events to be held inside GAB-approved bubbles.

However, Health Secretary Francisco Duque hinted during the Laging Handa public briefing earlier Monday that it is possible that the province will move back to the more lenient Alert Level 2, which allows arenas to accommodate fully vaccinated fans to watch live at a 50 percent capacity limit.

Duque clarified that the IATF will still convene to discuss the possible de-escalation while monitoring the two-week growth rate, average daily attack rate, and health care utilization rate of Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said that the league is just awaiting the green light from the Metro Manila Development Authority for the teams to resume their scrimmages.

A 10-day window has been set for scrimmages before the PBA finally returns to action.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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