The PBA has suspended its games until further notice in light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
The league made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday, a day after the board of governors held an emergency meeting at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig to address the crisis.
The suspension — which covers the Philippine Cup, as well as the league’s other activities such as the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup and the inaugural PBA 3×3 — is effective today, March 11.
That means the games scheduled later this afternoon, which feature TNT going up against Phoenix and NLEX’s clash versus NorthPort at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, have been called off.
The postponement came just three days after the league raised the curtains of its 45th season.
“In a Special Board Meeting, held last night March 10, the Philippine Basketball Association Board of Governors through the Office of the Commissioner, decided with prudence to cancel effective today, March 11, its on-going PBA Philippine Cup and PBA D-League Aspirants Cup games and activities and PBA 3×3 inaugurals until further notice,” the statement read.
“Considering the present situation surrounding COVID-19 and the Presidential declaration of Public Health Emergency, it is our paramount duty and responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our fans, players, teams, officials and staff,” it added.
“The league, however, will assess the effects of Covid 19 on a day-to-day basis guided by the parameters set by the DOH and WHO and will remain committed to conduct its games and activities in a safe and responsible manner for all its stakeholders,” the statement closed.
Aside from the PBA, collegiate leagues UAAP and NCAA have also suspended its activities.
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a state of public health emergency already after confirmed cases of CoViD-19 shot up to 35 Tuesday.