THERE will be no Barack Obama in any of the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup games while the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit is ongoing here.
But security will be just as tight around the playing venue in light of the deadly Paris terror attacks last week.
PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial admitted security has been tightened by the league especially in two provincial outings over the last four days, including Tuesday’s doubleheader in Binan, Laguna bannered by the clash between crowd darling Barangay Ginebra and Meralco.
“Nagdagdag lang ng security. Mahirap na rin, although ever since naman that has been the league’s priority especially sa mga out-of-town sorties,” said the longtime PBA official.
He noted that additional police personnel were deployed during the Petron Saturday Special offering between Talk ‘N Text and Star in Lucena last week, the same day Paris was hit by a series of separate suicide bombings and mass shootings.
Marcial added there was no arrangement for the US president to watch a PBA game during his brief stay in the country to attend the APEC Summit.
Obama, a certified hoops fan, arrived in the country on Tuesday for the November 18-19 event.
“Walang pasabi. Kung meron man, hindi naman basta at the last-minute lang 'yun. Siyempre, it will be in advance for security measures,” said Marcial, adding the league only has the Binan twinbill to offer during the stay of the world’s most powerful leader here.
The 54-year-old US president was at ringside on NBA opening night this season to watch the game between the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The US President is also an avid golfer and there are a lot of courses in and around Metro Manila - from well-secured layouts inside military camps to posh clubs like Wack Wack and Manila Golf Club - that would certainly welcome him in case he decides to go for a quick round.
But Marcial said it would definitely be an honor to have no less than the US president watching action in the PBA.
“Siyempre naman, who wouldn’t be honored kung presidente ng Amerika ang manonood sa inyo,” he stressed.