PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that the country would ease to normal before the end of the year has raised their hopes further for season resumption sooner than later.
"Kay Presidente na galing na malapit na ang vaccine, so lalong lumilinaw ang pagasa ng PBA na makabalik," said Marcial.
And the PBA chieftain said there's no more stopping the league from getting its 12 ball clubs to gradual return to training with Metro Manila staying under general community quarantine.
"As soon as the teams take the swab tests and get the results, it's a go," said Marcial, expecting all members of the 12 ball clubs to be done with the tests by Aug. 7.
There had been fears Metro Manila may be placed under stricter quarantine if the forecast of University of the Philippines of 85,000 cases by end of July is realized. To date, COVID-19 has hit over 89,000 people in the Philippines.
Had the National Capital Region reverted back to the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine, the PBA's plan for the calibrated return to practices should have been torpedoed.
But Metro Manila is staying under GCQ along with Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Zamboanga City and the Minglanilla and Consolacion towns in Cebu province.
Duterte expressed hopes the country will be back to normal before the end of the year, pinning his hopes on a coronavirus vaccine.
"Magandang balita yon," said Marcial.
Once Metro Manila eases to modified general community quarantine, the PBA and other pro leagues will have a chance to reopen shop under the provisions of the Joint Administrative Order signed by the Department of Health, the Games and Amusements Board and the Philippine Sports Commission.(SB)