The PBA remains optimistic that it can push through with its initial plans for Season 46 despite delays caused by the prevailing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Commissioner Willie Marcial believes that the league will still be able to stage two conferences, provided that the national government allows the anticipated cage wars to commence by the second or third week of June.
The authorities have told the league that they won’t be given the green light to play until COVID-19 cases in the country go down.
“Kung magsisimula tayo by June–second, third week ng June–kaya natin two conferences, matatapos tayo by December. Or baka lumaktaw tayo January. Pero, baka matapos natin by December,” he said Thursday.
That is different from the original plan of staging a 10-month long season, where the Philippine Cup will be held in the first four months and the next six months will see the import-laden Governors’ Cup.
The fourth-year league chief said that there might be slight changes with the format should the season run from June to December.
“Magiging single round [elimination] lang siguro ‘yung second conference. Kasi nung una, double round ‘yung second conference natin eh,” he said.
Along with that change comes the sacrifice that has to be done, as the two conferences may just be seven days apart — at most.
“What’s gonna happen there, ‘pag natapos ‘yung unang conference, magsa-sacrifice lang talaga. Ilang araw lang, mga pitong araw o limang araw, umpisa na ulit. Start na ng second conference,” said Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua.
“Now ‘yung mga na-out, ‘yun ang una munang maglalaro para makapag-pahinga ‘yung mga nakapasok ng Finals o semis. We’re hitting really two conferences this year.”