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    PBA abandons plan to bring PH Cup Finals back to Manila

    Oct 17, 2021
    Coaches Chot Reyes and Leo Austria shake hands at midcourt after an intense SMB-TNT semifinal series that went the distance.
    Coaches Chot Reyes and Leo Austria shake hands at midcourt after an intense SMB-TNT semifinal series that went the distance.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    THE PBA will finish the 2021 Philippine Cup in the safe confines of the Bacolor bubble in Pampanga.

    Given the adjustments to be made in the league’s safety protocols if it returns to Manila on short notice, PBA officials deemed it best to finish the final games of the conference at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym.

    Commissioner Willie Marcial said it’s sensible to hold the best-of-seven title series in an area that was easier to manage for the league the past two weeks.

    “Tapusin na lang natin doon,” he said on Sunday after TnT Tropang Giga set up a finals showdown against Magnolia.

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    Although majority of the players still wants to go back and play in Manila, there are also those who voiced feeling a lot safer if the league remains in Pampanga.

    “May mga nagsasabi din naman na safe na (sa Pampanga). Kasi hindi mo nga naman alam kung pag-uwi nila sa bahay, di ba,” said Marcial.

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    “So baka ito talaga ang gusto ng pagkakataon.”

    IATF roadblock

    The league earlier planned to have the finals be played back at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City under a closed circuit system.

    But while the Inter-Agency Tasked Force (IATF) will allow the PBA to bring its games back in NCR, it wants to have it played under a straight bubble format like the one mounted last year in Clark, Pampanga.

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      Coaches Chot Reyes and Leo Austria shake hands at midcourt after an intense SMB-TNT semifinal series that went the distance.
      PHOTO: PBA Images
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