The PBA is looking at June 15 for the start of its 46th season.
That is according to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel governor Alfrancis Chua as the league is now allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to conduct full practices in areas under general community quarantine and modified GCQ.
Chua was with Commissioner Willie Marcial last week when they met with Senator Bong Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to appeal for the start of scrimmages. The IATF nod then came on Friday.
“We’re thinking about June 15,” he told The Chasedown Saturday.
Should the league raise its curtains by June, the league will be able to hold a season featuring two conferences — the Philippine Cup and the import-laden Governors’ Cup — that will last until December.
The aforementioned date remains pencilled, though, as the PBA has to prove to the powers-that-be that it can conduct practices hitch-free. So, for Chua, the fate of Season 46 really rests on the PBA’s hands.
“‘Yung paglalaro namin na ine-aim sa June, hindi IATF or hindi sila Senator Bong o hindi sila Executive Secretary–nasa sa amin ‘yun,” he said. “We have to prove it to them na kaya namin ‘yung protocol na maingat na maingat kami.
“So binigyan ho nila kami ng susi, e kung paano namin pagagandahin ‘yung susi, kung paano namin lalagyan ng bulaklak o papakintabin yung susi, nasa sa amin ho ‘yun.”
And that is why the straightforward executive called on all member teams to observe health and safety protocols strictly for the league to be able to get the ball rolling for the season amidst the prevailing health crisis.
“So bawat team sa PBA, kahit anong team pa yan, alam nila kung gaano kahirap, kung paano kami nabuksan para makapag-umpisa mag-ensayo ng 5-on-5, e hindi naman kami gusto namin ensayo lang,” said the former bench tactician.
“Siyempre gusto natin makapaglaro. We have to prove it to them na ito, nageensayo ho kami, wala pong nahawa, wala po lahat. Para mapayagan na tayo.”