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Another bubble is PBA’s ‘last option’ for Season 46, bares Marcial

‘Déjà vu.’

That’s how PBA Commissioner Wille Marcial described the league’s situation at present, as the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has once again hindered the staging of its new season.

The league initially planned to open shop this April, but the national government decided to implement stricter community quarantine measures last March 22 due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The so-called NCR Plus Bubble was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from March 29-April 4. This has since been extended for another week as a record 15,310 cases were reported last Saturday alone.

Marcial said that the recent happenings have brought memories of last year, when the PBA planned to resume Season 45 by August but only got back into action by October in a bubble set-up mounted at Clark, Pampanga.

“Parang déjà vu,” he told Tiebreaker Times, Monday.

“Nung bubble, ‘di ba, dapat August magsisimula tayo? Naging September, naging October.”

Marcial and Co. were all optimistic earlier this year with Season 46. They had even planned to hold it over 10 months featuring two conferences — the Philippine Cup and the import-laced Governors’ Cup — along with the 3×3 inaugurals.

The league is even looking at the Ynares Center in Antipolo as the venue of the season, with plans to hold it in a closed-circuit set-up, since Rizal back then was under the lenient Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

All that, however, has become shrouded with uncertainties. And so Marcial and the Board of Governors are set to hold a special meeting next week to discuss mainly their plan of action for the next season.

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“By next week, mag-special board meeting, tingnan natin kung ano na ang dapat gawing hakbang at kung papaano na,” the fourth-year league chief said.

“At pag-uusapan din sigurado, ‘yung financials ng PBA as a whole.”

Asked if playing in a bubble again is a possibility, Marcial didn’t rule that out, although he would want that to be the last option. Such a set-up isn’t only tough financially, but for the delegates’ mental health as well.

“Kung maaari, last option ‘yun. Pero hindi namin tinatanggal ‘yung option na ‘yun, para maitawid natin ang PBA.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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