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    Crucial PBA board meeting to decide season format, new opening date

    Apr 18, 2021
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    THE PBA 46th season hopefully will get more's clarity by Monday.

    The league's board of governors convenes in a crucial meeting that will determine how it will go about the new season.

    Chairman Ricky Vargas and Commissioner Willie Marcial will take turns in assessing the situation and giving out possible scenarios as the PBA sees another delay in its season opener for the second straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Among the top matters in the league agenda is the current finances of the team since it will play a major role in two important undertakings the PBA needs moving forward – vaccine and bubble play.

    “Pag-uusapan ang financial [aspect] ng PBA at kung papaano na itong season at kung ano ang plano dito,” said Marcial on Sunday. “Pag-uusapan lahat ng puwedeng ilatag at kung paano.”

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      The league coughed up between P65 to P70 million last year to hold the Philippine Cup bubble in Clark, Pampanga over a two-month stretch.

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      It will have to double that amount if it is to play under the same setup should the league push through with its original plan to hold the all-Filipino conference for four months.

      And then there’s the planned vaccination of members of the PBA community and their immediate families for COVID-19. The league already has a standing deal with the Philippine Red Cross, but it has yet to be appraised on when its availability will be.

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      “Puwedeng bubble or semi-bubble. Puwede ring sabihin hintayin na lang natin yung vaccine,” said Marcial of the possible scenario staring the league.

      The league originally targeted an April 9 opener in time for its 46th founding anniversary but later deferred it to April 11, and then April 18 due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

      It was forced to totally abandon the season kick-off from April to either late May or June after the government put under strict lockdown the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, and Cavite.

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      With Rizal included in the list, the plan to have the all-Filipino conference held in a semi-bubble format at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, Rizal was likewise put in the backburner.

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        Also to be discussed within the board is the inaugural 3x3 tournament of the PBA, the country’s coming campaign in the Olympic 3x3 qualifier in Austria from May 26 to 30, and the proposed China vs. PBA All-Star series proposed by Vargas.

        “Yung OQT ipe-present ni president Al Panlilio (Meralco board member). Tapos siyempre, pag-uusapan din yung 3x3 ng PBA,” said Marcial.

        Panlilio is president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

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        PHOTO: PBA Images
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