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PBA commissioner Willie Marcial prioritizes health in extended postponement despite getting Pasig's approval

The PBA actually got the approval of holding games back at the Ynares Sports Arena before ultimately deciding to postpone them indefinitely. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—If initial plans are to be considered, the PBA was keen on bringing the games back to the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig amid a steep rise in COVID-19 cases.

Commissioner Willie Marcial revealed on Thursday that the league actually got the approval from the Pasig City government to hold the matches there behind closed doors.

"Si Mayor Vico [Sotto] mismo pinayagan tayo kahit na mahigpit niyang pinagbabawal ang contact sports sa Pasig dahil tiwala na siya sa safety protocols natin," Marcial said.

Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra assured that the PBA can resume play even if Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 3 to start 2022.

Under Alert Level 3, only professional sports events conducted inside GAB-approved bubbles can push through.

In the case of the PBA, it is using a closed circuit hosting format in which everyone is advised to only follow a home-arena-home format in transporting themselves.

Despite all of these, Marcial decided to defer the holding of the games until the pandemic situation in Metro Manila becomes manageable enough again.

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

“Ayaw nating isalang-alang ang kaligtasan ng ating mga manlalaro at mga bumubuo ng bawat teams at staff ng PBA lalo na sa panahon ng pagtaas muli ng mga kaso sa NCR. Mabuti na munang mag-ingat tayo dahil lubhang nakababahala ang mabilis na paglobo ng mga kaso,” Marcial continued. "Kahit na pinapayagan na tayo ng GAB at LGUs, ang gusto nating mangyari ay humupa muna itong kaso."

He concluded, "Mas mabuti na iyong sigurado."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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