THE PBA is still pursuing a two-conference format for the 2021 season, although that could change if its players still are yet to be inoculated by June.
PBA vice chairman Bobby Rosales said the league is still planning to hold an all-Filipino and import-laced conference this year despite the delays in the opening of the season that was supposed to launch last Sunday, April 18.
Rosales admitted all members of the PBA family must be vaccinated as soon as possible in order to be able to preserve the original plan to have two conferences.
“As you’ve read in the papers, ‘yung mga vaccines, they are scheduled to arrive starting May. If they will arrive in May, that’s the earliest we can get the PBA family vaccinated. It will take a month before the dosage can become effective. You are looking really at June as the earliest," he said.
“I think if we are able to start by June, we might still be able to do two conferences. Any date later than June, it will become more difficult to hold two conferences,” said Rosales during Tuesday's press conference.
Initially, the PBA was eyeing a four-month Philippine Cup and a six-month Governors’ Cup for the 2021 season to be played under a closed-circuit system where teams will only be allowed to travel from home to venue.
The plan, however, was shelved following the rise in COVID-19 cases that prompted Metro Manila and neighboring provinces to be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the league doesn’t want the 2021 season to extend until March of next year under the two-conference format.
“Hanggang June, kaya pa natin ng two conferences. Puwede tayo umabot ng February. Pero later part, aabutin na tayo ng March and April. Sana maayos na tayo ng June,” said Marcial.
Marcial, however, said the two-conference format will still be dependent on other factors such as whether imports will be allowed to travel to the Philippines for the season.
The PBA commissioner is already looking at other options if ever the two-conference format will not be feasible this year.