MANILA, Philippines -- PBA players have volunteered to help out the league in its efforts to resume the All-Filipino Cup, commissioner Willie Marcial confirmed.
PBA games have been suspended since August 4, due to the rise of COVID-19 Delta variant cases in the country. The league held its games at the Ynares Center in Pasig City before the conference was halted.
It was recently reported that PBA players had volunteered to chip in so that the games can resume in a "semi-bubble" format in Pampanga, a development confirmed by Marcial.
"Kinausap ako ng mga players," he said. "Okay 'yung mga pinag-usapan namin."
"Nagulat nga ako eh," he admitted. "They're willing to support the PBA. So 'yun ang mga pinag-usapan namin."
Marcial did not divulge details of what kind of help was offered by the players, but he explained that the teams' captains had met and decided to reach out to the league.
Barangay Ginebra point guard LA Tenorio then discussed the players' proposal to Marcial, who was surprised and touched at the gesture.
"Sa kanila nanggaling 'yun, na talagang gusto nilang tumulong at masimulan. Nagulat ako doon," he said. "Hindi ko akalain na ganoon ang gusto nilang mangyari."
"Ultimo sa mga players, gusto nila matuloy ang PBA," he also said. "Ngayon makikita mo 'yung malasakit ng mga players, 'yung kagandahang loob ng mga players, na binibigay naman nila ngayon sa PBA."
However, Marcial also explained that even with the players' offer, there are still several steps that the PBA has to take before they can resume their games.
At the moment, they are in the process of fulfilling the requirements by the local government of Pampanga, where they plan to hold the "semi-bubble." This includes finding hotels where PBA teams can stay during the conference.
"Maski na na-submit natin lahat 'yun, depende pa rin sa kanila. Depende sa sitwasyon sa Pampanga," Marcial said.
Earlier this month, the Inter-Agency Task Force allowed the PBA to resume its games but only in areas under general community quarantine or a lower classification.
The National Capital Region was placed under enhanced community quarantine from August 6 to 20.
Pampanga, meanwhile, is under modified general community quarantine, until August 31 as per an Executive Order by Governor Dennis Pineda, dated August 15.
The league successfully held the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup in a full bubble set-up in Clark, Pampanga last year, with all teams billeted at the Quest Hotel while games were held at the nearby Angeles University Foundation Gym.