PBA: Racela says Blackwater 'OK,' complying with league guidelines

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2020 06:25 PM

Blackwater coach Nash Racela. PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines -- Blackwater head coach Nash Racela assured that their team is "okay," after playing a game on Tuesday night that was apparently officiated by a referee who is suspected to have tested positive for COVID-19.

The game official was tagged as a possible positive on Wednesday and removed from the PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga. He is now isolated in the Athlete's Village, which serves as a quarantine facility.

According to PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro, both the Elite and the Alaska Aces are under strict monitoring by the Clark Development Corp. (CDC).

"We're okay," said Racela in a message to ABS-CBN News. "We were just instructed to limit our movements inside the bubble."

The Elite were still able to practice at the Angeles University Foundation Gym on Wednesday afternoon.

The Aces overwhelmed Blackwater, 120-82, in their game on Tuesday night. Afterward, the league was informed by the CDC that one of their game officials produced a positive test.

"We immediately did the necessary protocols na kailangan i-contact tracing," said Castro. "'Yung crew who ran the game last night, ini-isolate na natin, and then the referee nga was extracted earlier… For Alaska and Blackwater, they'll be strictly monitored by the CDC." 

Blackwater dropped to 2-2 with the loss.

"We're just complying with the PBA guidelines and making sure we get to prepare for our upcoming games," Racela also said. 

Games pushed through even with the suspected positive test. Both Castro and PBA commissioner Willie Marcial have assured that the situation is under control.

ABS-CBN News has also reached out to Alaska for comment.