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    COVID-19 cases by next month the barometer for PBA resumption

    Jan 8, 2022
    PBA tickets Araneta Coliseum Big dome
    PBA fans lined up to buy tickets on the first day the league welcome live audience back at the Big Dome.

    PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial considers February as a crucial phase in the planned resumption of the season-ending Governors Cup.

    When will PBA resume?

    Amid the rising threat of COVID-19 cases, the league chieftain said everything else will depend on what the health situation is going to be a month from now, and from there, the Board will decide on the course of action it will take to go on with the games.

    “Sana itong February, OK na tayo. Crucial ang Feb. Dapat mag-desisyon, (kung) made-delay pa ba natin ito ng hanggang saan,” said Marcial on Saturday.

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    Initially, the league just postponed the first week of resumption from Jan. 5 to 9 and affecting a total of five games when the government declared the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces under Alert Level 3 again from Jan. 3 to 15 following the rise in COVID cases after the holidays.

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    But as figures would point out, cases continue to surge in the first week of the New Year, prompting the PBA Board to postpone the games indefinitely, even if the league and other pro sports are allowed to resume playing under Alert Level 3 provided it will be held under a bubble setup.

    Marcial said he wouldn’t take the risk of putting the lives of players, coaches, team utilities, and PBA staff even in a bubble, given the record-high number the country has been registering as far as COVID cases are concerned.

    Just on Saturday, the Philippines logged a total of 26,458 new cases, the highest-single day record since the pandemic began.

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    “Hindi ko isusugal yung safety ng mga tao para lang makalaro,” said Marcial. “Kaya humingi ako ng pasensiya sa team owners at sa governors na sana maintindihin nila. For the meantime lang naman ito.”

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      But with the OCTA Research projecting a continued upward trajectory of COVID cases in the coming weeks, the commissioner said the league will have to address the issue of resumption by the middle of next month.

      “Kung ano mangyari sa February, doon tayo magde-desisyon. Kung ano ang dapat nating gawin. Kaya ba nating mag-bubble? Safe ba kahit anong bubble? Hindi ko masasabi hangga’t hindi natin nakikita kung ano ang mangyayari sa sitwasyon na ito,” said Marcial.

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      PBA fans lined up to buy tickets on the first day the league welcome live audience back at the Big Dome.
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