PBA sets crucial board meeting to determine fate of Governors Cup

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 18 2022 02:23 PM

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. File photo. PBA Media Bureau.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. File photo. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA, Philippines -- The PBA Board of Governors will meet next week to discuss the next steps for the league, as the Governors' Cup remains suspended due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

The PBA welcomed fans back in December but have yet to return to the hard court this year, after Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 3. Aside from postponing games, the PBA also barred its ball clubs from holding scrimmages, limiting teams to small-group training sessions.

But with costs mounting as teams continue to pay not just local players but also their imports, commissioner Willie Marcial said that a decision will likely be made by the coming week as to the fate of the conference.

"Kausap ko rin si chairman Ricky Vargas naman, ang aming chairman. Magtatawag kami ng board meeting next week, para pag-usapan na nga kung ano ang dapat gawin. Kung saan papatungo ang PBA. 'Yun ang gagawin natin," Marcial said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday morning.

"Pag nag-meeting kami next week, malamang 'yan na 'yung fate ng PBA, kung saan tayo papatungo," he added. "Diyan natin malalaman, by next week. So, ano ba -- tutuloy ba natin, hindi ba natin tutuloy? Ano gagawin natin sa imports? Ano gagawin natin sa players? Ano ng gagawin?"

"So by next week, siguro may konti ng liwanag kung papaano tayo, kung saan tayo pupunta."

According to Marcial, the PBA has already received approval from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) to continue its competition in a hybrid bubble set-up, where all personnel involved must follow a strict home-venue-home protocol.

In areas under Alert Level 3, professional competitions can still be held as long as it is in a bubble format and with approval from the GAB as well as the local government where games will be held.

"Kausap ko si (GAB) chairman (Baham) Mitra last Sunday morning na sinabi niya na nag-endorse na sila ng letter sa IATF, na payagan tayong maglaro ng tinatawag nilang Type C bubble. 'Yung home-venue-home," Marcial explained.

"Nag-endorse na sila. So nagpasalamat ako sa kanya, na malaking bagay sa atin 'yun," he added.

The PBA has also gotten approval from Pasig City to hold games at the Ynares Sports Arena, the commissioner said.

However, any concrete move on the league's part won't be decided until next week's board meeting.

"Kailangan pag-usapan namin, kung paano nga, 'yung safety at 'yung protection ng lahat. Kasi pwede na kaming magsimula, kung tama ako sa sinabi ni Chairman Mitra," he said.

"Pero alam ko, may iniintay pa rin sila from IATF, pero okay na sila, okay na ang LGUs. So pwede na tayo. Iniintay nga lang namin, kasi 'yung huling board meeting namin na pinahinto namin. So ito, next week, malalaman natin kung paano na."