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    Depleted PBA referees pool guards against fatigue after COVID-19 scare

    Oct 23, 2020
    Pido Jarencio
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    PBA commissioner Willie Marcial assured that officiating will not be compromised by fatigue after eight referees were isolated for coming into contact with a game official who was labeled a 'suspected case' after a COVID-19 test.

    Only seven referees are working the games, forced to work every day - a few even assigned to back-to-back games - after a referee yielded a positive result for COVID-19 on Wednesday despite entering the bubble negative.

    As a result, eight referees are in quarantine at the New Clark City Athlete’s Village in nearby Tarlac for 14 days, even though the game official tested negative in an antigen procedure on Wednesday afternoon.

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    Marcial said the seven referees will continue to work every day only until Sunday as he has called in additional game officials to bolster the pool.

    The new arrivals, however, will need to undergo health protocols before entering the bubble.

    “Back-to-back talaga sila hanggang Sunday,” said Marcial. “Meron tayong lima sa lineup, pinapapunta ko na ‘yung two to three referees pero kailangan mag-quarantine at mag-self isolation. Kung ano ang protocol na ginamit natin pag pumasok.”

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      Even with the depleted referees group, Marcial said that the PBA will continue to implement the set-up where three referees will officiate a game while one alternate can enter the game anytime as a substitute.

      “As of now, ginagawa pa namin ‘yun pero tinitignan namin ‘yung bihira na lang pumasok ‘yung alternate referee. Pero apat pa rin. Parang team, pine-pace namin ‘yung mga referees,” said Marcial.

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