OFFICIALS from the PBA and the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) assured that the bubble remains safe even after the first positive case involving a player surfaced.
PBA medical consultant George Canlas said the league continues to implement strict measures inside the bubble despite two probable cases – one by a referee which turned out to be a ‘false positive.’
“I want to assure everybody is still safe in the bubble. It’s one of the safest places you can be in right now and we are constantly trying to improve our methods,” said Canlas during a press conference on Sunday.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial assured all the protocols are being followed inside the bubble.
“Wala naman tayong nabe-break na protocol. Hindi nagbu-burst ang bubble,” said Marcial.
The PBA said a player from Blackwater was quarantined at the Athletes’ Village in Capas, Tarlac after being listed as a probable case. A referee was the first case, but his results turned out to be negative following a series of tests.
BCDA president and CEO Vince Dizon said that incidents such as the referee's ‘false positive’ result are no longer new, citing a case in the NBA bubble where a player from the Sacramento Kings initially tesed positive but turned out negative following confirmatory tests.
“What has happened to us in the past couple of days happened as well to other bubbles in the United States – the NBA and the NFL. We just have to follow the protocols that we have benchmarked and follow them properly,” said Dizon.
Dizon added that the PBA bubble setup is ready for any eventuality.
“The protocols are meant to address situations like this. Testing is just one of the protocols. I want to reiterate that all the players go through regular clinical checks for symptoms which is the most important,” said Dizon.
Despite the safe environment in the bubble, Dizon said that he is recommending more protocols for the PBA including more testing and the frequent use of antigen testing which yields quick results and is already approved by the Department of Health.
“There is regular testing and we will recommend to do it more frequently using antigen testing for the benefit of the players especially now that the DOH has approved the use of antigen testing,” said Dizon.
“And the most important, and I cannot overemphasize this, is that everyone in the bubble must always conform to the minimum health standards of wearing masks, washing your hands regularly, and distancing as much as possible plus the other protocols of disinfection, making sure that security protocols are in place,” said Dizon.