DEVELOPMENTS as to the availability of vaccines against COVID-19 in the Philippines will play a major role on how the PBA will stage its 2021 season.
The PBA is planning to begin its 46th season in April, but as to the specific details remain very sketchy with the pandemic and government restrictions on contact sports in the country still very much in effect.
“Titignan natin. Depende kung ano sitwasyon at depende kung ano ang pinapayagan ng gobyerno,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) online forum.
There is hope, however, that the pandemic will soon come to an end with vaccines now being produced and shipped in different parts of the globe.
Like the rest of the country, the PBA is also waiting for the vaccines in hopes that the situation will normalize very soon.
“Kung walang bubble, may vaccine, malaking bagay sa atin ‘yun. Kung wala pang vaccine, titignan natin ‘yung closed-circuit o ‘yung dating bubble,” Marcial added.
While open to the idea of another bubble, Marcial said there are a lot of difficulties in mounting another one following the successful 2020 season, and that doesn’t only include the costs that reached between P65 and P75 million.
“Ang hirap nung bubble na ginawa. Nakita ko ‘yung sitwasyon ng mga players. Hindi lang players, lahat ng delegates na siyempre, nung first month, nahirapan sila mag-adjust, sanay sila kasama pamilya nila. Ngayon, hindi nila makakasama. Nung na-adopt na namin ‘yun, nagustuhan na namin, okay na. Pero nung first month, ang hirap,” he said.
“Pangalawa, ang laki ng gastos ng bubble. Gumastos tayo ng 65 million to 70 million. Ang laki nun. Tingnan natin. Hindi pa natin masasabi as of now. By February siguro, makakadesisyon na tayo,” said Marcial.
If the vaccine becomes available in the coming months, the plan of the PBA, Marcial said, is to impose a no-vaccine, no-play rule among the teams. The PBA commissioner is even tinkering on a move to purchase vaccines for its corporate social responsibility programs.
“Requirement ‘yun,” said Marcial, referring to the vaccine for the ballclubs.
“Ang balak na rin namin, sasabihin ko sa board na kumuha rin ng vaccine para makapag-bigay din tayo sa mga frontliners, makapag-donate tayo ng vaccine, kung papayagan tayong bumili o, kapag papayagan tayo ng government, makabigay tayo ng vaccines sa nangangailangan. Nasa planning stage ‘yun,” he added.
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