The PBA Season 46 will only push through provided that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country goes down.
The government set that particular condition, according to Commissioner Willie Marcial. The league now has its fingers crossed that it will be able to plunge into action amidst the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Sinabi nila kailangan bumaba talaga ‘yung ating cases ng COVID. Kung hindi bababa, baka ‘di tayo makapaglaro,” said the fourth-year league chief in a virtual press conference, Thursday.
Marcial and Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua met with Sen. Bong Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea Wednesday, where they also requested for the resumption of practices for the season.
“Nag-request ako sa kanya na kung pupwede, bigyan tayo ng pagkakataon para makapag-umpisa na ang PBA makapag-laro at makapag-umpisa na ng ensayo,” said Chua, also the San Miguel Corp. sports director.
COVID-19 cases in the country have risen at an alarming rate since last March, thus the delay in the league’s April opening. Metro Manila and nearby provinces have undergone stricter lockdown measures.
The league now plans to have all its members be inoculated and its vaccination program received a boost. Sen. Go, said Chua, offered to help in the procurement of the much-needed shots against the virus.
However, even if the PBA family is inoculated, the ball still won’t roll as the season’s fate hinges on the decline of COVID-19 cases.
“Pero ‘yun nga sinasabi nila. Maski na na-vaccine na tayo, kung hindi bababa ang cases, hindi pa rin matutuloy ang PBA. So kailangan bumaba ang cases,” said Marcial.
Marcial is now calling on everybody to do their part in battling the dreaded virus — not just for the league, but for the nation’s sake.
““Nag-meeting kami with coaches and players kanina na tulungan din tayo na sabihan natin ang taong-bayan na magtulong-tulong para sa ating bansa na mapababa natin ang cases,” he said.
“One, para tulungan ang economy, ‘yung maliliit na negosyo pati ‘yung malalaki, makapagsimula na; makapagsimula na ang entertainment; at makapagsimula na ang PBA na nakakapagbigay pag-asa at saya sa tao.”