The PBA is getting assistance from no less than the national government in procuring COVID-19 vaccines in its bid to start Season 46.
San Miguel Corp. sports director Alfrancis Chua bared that Sen. Bong Go has offered to help in purchasing shots against the virus, since inoculation is the league’s top-most priority before returning into action.
Chua, together with Commissioner Willie Marcial, met with Sen. Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in Malacanang Wednesday and discussed how the PBA could push through amidst the ongoing health crisis.
“I asked him about the vaccine. I asked him, pwede ba kaming maanuhan ng vaccine,” said the Ginebra governor in a virtual presser Thursday.
“Ang maganda rito, ang sabi ni Sen. Bong, sige ganito. Para makapag-umpisa at matulungan mismo ang buong PBA family, ‘pag dumating ‘yung sa government, bebentahan niya ang buong PBA para makapagsimula na,” he continued.
“So manggagaling sa government, bebentahan niya ang PBA, bibigyan niya kami ng special slot para ma-vaccine-an ang mga players–pati mga pamilya ng mga players–pati coaches, managers, lahat. So ‘yun ang aming tsansa.”
Marcial seconded Chua, adding that the league will also seek the help of vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez.
“Sinabi ni Sen. Bong na hihingi kami ng tulong kay Sec. Galvez na magkaroon ng allocation ang PBA,” he said. “So ang tinitingnan, mabentahan o mabigyan tayo ng allocation na babayaran natin sa government through Sec. Galvez.”
The league, though, isn’t relying solely on the government. Teams are also allowed to procure on their own and use them for their personnel.
“Sinasabi rin naman nila (government) na kung may vaccine ang mga teams niyo — San Miguel group, MVP group, Phoenix, Rain or Shine … kung may vaccine, pwede kayo mag-vaccine,” said Marcial, who’s in his fourth year at the helm of Asia’s first pro league.
“Hindi sinasabing nagju-jump tayo. Kasi ‘yun daw ay karapatan ng kumpanya sino iva-vaccine.”
Just last week, league vice chairman Bobby Rosales disclosed that PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan and SMC Pres. Ramon S. Ang have both pledged to donate doses of vaccines to the league.
And according to Chua, both camps have agreed to share supplies of vaccines and distribute them to the other teams should theirs arrive first.
“Ang maganda rito, pinayagan kami to purchase ng sarili naming vaccines. So what’s gonna happen here is whichever comes first, ‘no. Kung dumating ‘yung sa San Miguel, kung dumating ‘yung sa government, kung anong pwede roon, mas mauna, ‘yun ang gagamitin namin. Para at least ma-vaccine-an na ‘yung mga players natin at mga coaches para makapagsimula na,” he said.
“Sa meeting namin kanina… siyempre ang iba’t-ibang kumpanya, umo-order din sila ng vaccine para sa mga workers nila. So sinabi ko kanina, siguro pwedeng gawin muna natin muna, ang MVP Group saka San Miguel group headed by Boss RSA, maghati muna silang dalawa at i-distribute sa mga PBA teams. Pumayag naman pareho.”