Blackwater head coach Nash Racela said that the PBA made the right decision to postpone the Elite’s Philippine Cup meeting with Rain or Shine Sunday after a player from his team tested positive for COVID-19.
“We’re really thankful that the PBA decided to cancel our game today. I think that’s the right thing to do,” said the veteran mentor via Zoom.
Hours before the said game, the league, together with Bases Conversion and Development Authority and Clark Development Corporation, held an online presser and revealed the unfortunate development.
The Blackwater player has already been extracted from the bubble and was sent to the Athletes’ Village in Capas, Tarlac for quarantine. The whole Elite team, meanwhile, is currently under isolation.
Racela said that had the 4:00 p.m. game been pushed through, the team has decided that it won’t play as a safety precaution, as they are also concerned about the welfare of the Elasto Painters.
“I was telling the management when we learned about it na siguro, the best way to approach it is really not to play if in case the PBA decides to push through with our games,” he said.
“Kasi sabi nga namin baka malagay din namin sa alanganin si Rain or Shine if we play tonight. So okay naman, naintindihan naman ng management kung saan kami nanggagaling.”
This has been the first time that a game got suspended in the bubble due to the virus. Blackwater and Alaska played their games last Thursday even if they were tested that morning — the teams underwent swab testing after it was reported that the referee who was classified as a probable case for COVID-19 was among those who worked the Elite-Aces game last Tuesday.
That referee, though, has been declared a false positive case as the results of the antigen and RT-PCR tests came out negative. Cleared as well are the seven other referees which came in close contact with the asymptomatic ref.
Given the recent development, the TNT Tropang Giga are also put in isolation now since they played the Elite last Thursday. And for Racela, it could have been avoided had Thursday’s games were postponed from the start.
“Now, TNT is involved, ‘di ba. Dapat you could have avoided that,” said the 48-year-old, himself a former head coach of TNT.
“But then again, it’s a learning experience siguro. For the managing group.”