PBA to restart behind closed doors

The PBA restart will imminently be without fans. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The PBA might resume its postponed Governors' Cup games sans the fans.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said on Thursday that at least for the first two weeks of the restart, the league will hold matches behind closed doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Yung fans hindi na muna. Siguro after a couple of weeks, pag-aralan natin kung talagang puwede na tsaka natin i-accommodate ang mga fans," Marcial said in the PBA website.

This implies that the league, once the Games and Amusements Board's proposal gets an approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force, will be reorganizing a "Type C bubble", that is, everyone will strictly follow a home-arena-home transportation format, for the resumption of games.

Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 until Monday, in which only GAB-approved professional sports bubbles would be allowed to push through.

The IATF has yet to announce the quarantine status for Metro Manila for the first half of February, but a possibility of loosening the restrictions to Alert Level 2 is looming as the province is experiencing a sharp decline in active COVID-19 cases.

Under Alert Level 2, fans can watch live professional sports action at a maximum of 50 percent arena capacity.

But Marcial said the PBA will still continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation before making a final decision.

"Depende pa rin kasi nakikita naman natin pababa yung mga cases," said Marcial.

For now, according to Marcial, the league is waiting for the clearance for the 12 member teams to resume scrimmages.

"Scrimmages muna ang inaasikaso natin," he said.

Marcial then said that the PBA will plan for the restart if cases continue to dwindle.

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