ANGELES CITY – PBA commissioner Willie Marcial won’t summon veteran big man Joe Devance after his 'close encounter' with Barangay Ginebra fans, but will remind him to be more cautious of his actions inside the league bubble.
A recent post in his vlog saw the 38-year-old Devance waving and having a short interaction with fans waiting outside the Angeles University Foundation gym after the Kings’ Philippine Cup game against the Meralco Bolts, which they won, 105-91.
Social distancing was strictly observed as Devance was a few meters away from the fans. But the Fil-Am forward briefly removed his face mask when he addressed the shouting throng of Ginebra followers before boarding the team bus.
“You guys ingat so much,” said the loveable veteran before putting his mask back on.
The post has since been taken down.
Marcial saw the video and ruled Devance didn't commit any serious violation of league health protocols meant to protect the bubble in Pampanga.
“Pero pagsa-sabihan ko siya to be more careful the next time,” said the commissioner. “Huwag niya na lang tanggalin sana yung mask. Maiintindihan naman siya ng mga fans.”
In his meetings and talks with experts from the Department of Health (DoH) before and now that the league bubble is fully operational, Marcial said practicing social distancing and wearing of mask remain among the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He added medical personnel warned that close contact of within 10 to 15 minutes often are responsible for the spread of the virus.
“Tsaka dapat ang distance is within one to two meters,” Marcial noted.
Still, taking chances is not the league’s business at the moment especially after one of its referees is considered a probable case based on the latest swab testing procedure conducted on him last Monday.
The game official has since been brought at the New Clark City (NCC) quarantine facility, where he yielded a negative result upon undergoing an antigen test. The referee was likewise swab tested anew pending its outcome.