MANILA, Philippines -- PBA teams will likely be playing in front of empty seats again when the Governors' Cup resumes next month.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial has acknowledged that the league may not be allowed to welcome fans into venues when games restart.
"'Yung fans, hindi na muna. Siguro after a couple of weeks, pag-aralan natin kung talagang puwede na at saka natin i-accommodate ang mga fans," said Marcial. "Pero sa simula, baka wala muna."
It is a disappointing development for the PBA, which had opened its doors to fans in December after holding two editions of the Philippine Cup behind closed doors.
The Araneta Coliseum allowed a limited number of fans to watch, but close to 5,000 paying patrons were present during the league's Christmas Day offerings, which included a showdown between Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia.
The PBA has yet to play a game in 2022, however, as the conference was suspended when Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 3 following a spike in COVID-19 cases.
The league is planning to resume games by the first week of February, although at the moment Marcial's priority is to get clearance for teams to hold scrimmages.
"Scrimmages muna ang inaasikaso natin," he said. "Kung maibaba pa 'yan, baka puwede na tayong mag-request na masimulan na ang mga laro."
Teams were barred from holding scrimmages when the conference was suspended, although they were still allowed to hold small group training sessions.
The PBA plans to give teams 10 days of scrimmages before the Governor's Cup officially resumes.