Apr 27, 2021

PBA honchos sit down in crucial meeting with government officials

WITH a desire to entertain the nation amidst the pandemic, PBA honchos will try to find a way on how to get Season 46 off and running as they sit down in a meeting with top government officials in Malaca?ang Wednesday.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua raise league concerns with Sen. Bong Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, hoping it would lead to government approval of the PBA season to start late May or early June.

"Sana payagan tayo," said Marcial, adding they're faced with a deluge of fans' queries on PBA play resumption.

"I had a Zoom meeting with the coaches, some players and team managers kahapon (Monday). Nakakagulat pati sila kinukulit ng mga fans kung kailan magsisimula ang PBA; sabi nila makakatulong ito pangtanggal ng mental health issue," Marcial also said.

PBA officials sought an audience with government officials to show their plans and discuss how to execute it while observing all the necessary measures for the safety of all concerned.

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"Ipapakita namin and explain the success of the bubble we've done (in Clark last year). Walang naging bulilyaso, at sana mabigyan tayo ng reward sa ginawa natin. Ipapakita rin natin ang ating protocols na pati ang FIBA napa-believe natin," said Marcial.

"Ipapakita rin natin ang kagustuhan ng mga fans na sana matuloy at sana makapagsimula na tayo," Marcial added.

The league has had a successful bubble tourney in Clark last year. The setup was really a big success that FIBA decided to bring the final window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifier in Clark in June, following the PBA protocols.

The PBA has several options on the table, including games in Ilocos Norte to be hosted by provincial governor Matthew Manotoc and an original plan to play the All-Filipino at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.

But the big question remains how to start the tourney especially with the government yet to decide on quarantine classifications starting May 1.

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Games are not allowed under the current quarantine status in the National Capital Region and the four nearby provinces collectively called NCR Plus. (SB)