THE 45th season of the PBA has been moved back a week from March 1 to March 8 due to the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak, the league announced on Monday.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the decision of the league was made in the interest of the safety of the league's stakeholders and the fans.
As a result of the decision, the PBA has also moved the Leo Awards to March 8, still to be held at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“It’s a preventive measure against nCoV. It’s now in place and will be implemented. The safety of our fans, teams, players and officials remain to be our utmost priority,” said Marcial.
The opening game, however, will still have five-time defending champion San Miguel facing Magnolia at the Big Dome.
The PBA has also postponed the opening of the PBA D-League from February 13 to March 2, due to the nCoV. The opening of the developmental league will still be held at the Paco Arena.
Aside from the 2020 season opener between the Beermen and the Hotshots, all the top individual awardees including the MVP trophy will be handed out during the Leo Awards.
June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel is set to win his sixth straight MVP award over fellow Best Player of the Conference awardees Jayson Castro of TNT and Christian Standhardinger of NorthPort.