MANILA, Philippines -- Due to insistent public demand, the PBA has decided to allow virtual fans into the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Gym in Pampanga ahead of schedule.
The league is holding the PBA Philippine Cup at the AUF Gym powered by Smart 5G, which is part of its "bubble." Though no fans are allowed to be inside the venue physically, the PBA installed LED boards around the court to serve as virtual stands.
The virtual fan boards were put to the test in the first three days of the Philippine Cup, with members of the PBA Press Corps, league personnel, and the friends and families of the players appearing on screen. Initially, the PBA was set to open the virtual space to fans on October 19.
With the public clamoring to be included in the arena, however, the PBA cut short the trial for online viewership and announced that they will start accommodating fans starting on October 15.
"Maraming fans ang tumawag at nagsasabing gusto nila manood ng games as virtual fans," said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.
Those who are interested to appear on the virtual fan board need to register via links that will be posted on the PBA's social media accounts. They will then receive emails on how to proceed after a successful registration.
Fans will be admitted on a first come, first serve basis. Marcial previously said that around 60-80 fans will be accommodated per game.
Games on Thursday are: NorthPort vs. Phoenix Super LPG, and Barangay Ginebra vs. Blackwater.