THE PBA hierarchy took time to personally thank one of the key players that allowed the league to finish the stalled Philippine Cup at the Clark bubble.
Board chairman Ricky Vargas and Commissioner Willie Marcial paid Senator Bong Go a visit on Monday night to express gratitude for the help he extended that paved the way for Asia’s pioneering pro league to complete its season, short as it may, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The senator was joined by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea during the brief meeting with Marcial and Vargas at Malacanang.
“Nagkuwentuhan lang at nagpasalamat kami ni chairman kay Senator Go sa lahat ng tulong na kanyang ibinigay para matuloy ang PBA sa Clark bubble last season,” said Marcial.
The commissioner said the new season was also discussed. The senator vowed to help the next season push through, Marcial added.
The PBA tentatively set the 46th season opener on April 9.
At the same time, the senator also asked about the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers scheduled also in Clark, Mimosa and the naturalization of Ange Kouame.
The Ivorian center, a former UAAP Rookie of the Year from Ateneo, is still in the process of completing his naturalization papers, which just recently was approved by the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives.
A similar bill is currently pending at the Senate filed by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chairman Senator Sonny Angara. Go vows to endorse the same bill.
Go’s association with the league goes a long way, even back during the time when President Duterte was still mayor of Davao City, which hosted numerous out of town games in the past.
He would still watch the games live from time to time whenever his busy schedule as senator, and previously as Special Assistant to the President and Head of the Presidential Management Staff, would allow him.
The 46-year-old senator was among those in government who supported the return of the PBA and aborted cancelling its season for the first time in history.
The league made a successful restart to the Philippine Cup in a bubble setup at Clark in Pampanga, with Barangay Ginebra capturing the championship by beating TnT Tropang Giga in the finals.
Marcial and the PBA board is now looking to hold the new season in a closed-circuit system where teams would be observing a home-venue-home type of bubble.