PBA: If pandemic drags on, running teams will be ‘difficult’, says Uytengsu


Posted at Aug 07 2020 08:56 PM

PBA team owners do not want to see the pandemic drag on for more than a year, a scenario that would severely hamper their finances. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

Alaska team owner Wilfred Uytengsu Jr. acknowledged it will be challenging to maintain a PBA team if the COVID-19 pandemic drags on for the next 2 to 3 years.

In an interview on "ONE Sports" Firday, Uytengsu said PBA team owners will be forced to balance business and maintaining a basketball club in these trying times. 

“I’m spending a lot of time trying to understand the economic impact on our businesses,” he said. 

“How do we as a company continue to run a team when our businesses are going to be down 20, 30, 40, some people even say 50 percent and still have the same budget to advertise, same budget to run a PBA team? And that will be a challenge.”

He said Alaska may be able to hurdle the crisis, but it's going to be difficult for some companies. 

“Fortunately for Alaska Milk, we are a necessity. People have to eat, so to some extent over the long term I think we'll be less affected," said Uytengsu. 

"If you are a product or a service that is less critical in terms of a daily need, that could spell trouble for a team or a company like that.”

Realistically, the PBA may be able to hold one conference this year, but Uytengsu pointed out it won't be smooth sailing, given the financial constraints.

“Imagine, we are going to get one conference of advertising for an entire year of salaries. I’m sure Alaska is and I’m sure all the teams are continuing to pay their [players and staff] full salaries.”

“We will see how long that will continue because if it drags on for a second or third year, it will be very difficult.” 

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