THE PBA will be allowing the fans back at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum starting on Wednesday.
PBA crowd returns
Commissioner Willie Marcial made the announcement on Saturday, saying that the drop in the number of COVID-19 cases has prompted the league to allow the entry of fans at the arena.
Marcial stressed that the PBA is actually cleared by the government to allow spectators in the venue ever since the resumption of the Governors’ Cup but decided to defer it.
“Papayagan na natin ang mga fans. Puwede na silang bumili ng tickets. Puwede na silang magpa-reserve ng tickets starting tomorrow para sa games natin,” said Marcial.
“Kaya po natin ginawa ito kasi 100 percent vaccinated na ang mga players at halos lahat naka-booster na. Sa pagkakaalam ko 95 percent, may booster na ang mga players natin at bumababa na ang mga cases sa NCR,” said Marcial.
Wednesday’s playdate will feature NLEX against Magnolia in the first game at 3 p.m. and San Miguel against TNT in the second game at 6 p.m. at the Big Dome.
Marcial said the PBA also decided to finally gave the green light to bring back the fans due to the test results that showed no positive cases within the league’s ranks.
“Pinapayagan naman tayo ng government na mag-50 percent. Tinitignan muna namin kung ano ang itsura, paano ang mga players, dinadahan dahan namin. Sinabi ko sa mga governors na hindi muna ako maglalagay ng fans pero nakita natin na maganda ang test results natin,” said Marcial.
Marcial said the capacity will depend on the alert level classification of the National Capital Region.
“Nung bago tayo ma-postpone, 50 percent. Pero balita natin na mag-alert one, baka payagan tayo ng 70 or 100 percent. Pero sa akin, 70 percent, kahit 50 percent, masaya na tayo,” said Marcial.
Marcial also added fans will also be allowed entry when the league shifts to the Ynares Center in Antipolo City to give way to the country’s hosting of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers first window later this month.