MANILA, Philippines -- PBA commissioner Willie Marcial remains hopeful that the league can still resume its games later this year, even after Metro Manila was placed under stricter quarantine protocols anew.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday night announced that Metro Manila and neighboring provinces -- Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan -- will be under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to 18 due to rising COVID-19 cases.
Because of this, PBA teams will have to delay their return to practice. Marcial initially pegged August 12 as their planned date for resumption of non-scrimmage training.
"Maga-adjust tayo ng training, maga-adjust tayo ng practice," Marcial told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview.
"'Di ba dapat, August 6 and 7 'yung testing, ia-adjust natin," he added. "Bale mga 10 araw ang ia-adjust natin, sa testing pa lang 'yun."
PBA teams were supposed to undergo swab testing at the Makati Medical Center, in order to be cleared for a return to training.
Marcial will remain in contact with the hospital as to when the PBA teams can be accommodated.
While this latest development throws a wrench into the PBA schedule, Marcial believes it is still possible for the season to be salvaged.
The PBA had to halt all activities in March due to COVID-19 outbreak.
"Sinasabi ko nga, pwede naman hanggang second week of October. Kailangan, buong September hanggang October, practice talaga 'yun," Marcial explained.
"Pero kung hindi pa masisimulan by September, mahihirapan na siguro tayo," he admitted.
A shortened conference is one option for the PBA, although the situation remains fluid. Marcial is expected to meet with the Board of Governors this month to discuss their next steps.
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