All options on the table as PBA Board discusses fate of season

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2020 02:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The PBA Board of Governors and commissioner Wilie Marcial will convene in an online meeting on Tuesday to discuss the fate of the league's 45th season.

This, after the government officially extended the Luzon-wide lockdown until April 30 in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The lockdown was originally set to end on April 12.

"Ibibigay ko sa kanila lahat ng options," Marcial told ABS-CBN News. "Lahat, possible."

The PBA opened its season on March 8, but managed just one game -- San Miguel Beer vs. Magnolia -- before all league activities were officially halted on March 11 amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

Since then, Marcial has ordered teams to suspend practices at well.

The commissioner said there are several options that they can consider: they can retain the three-conference format, switch to a two-conference format for this season, or even cancel the season entirely.

"Kung tuloy ang three conferences, a-adjust tayo hanggang May or June next year," he said. "O kaya, tanggalin ang isang conference, or tanggalin ang buong season."

"Halimbawa, hindi pa tayo pwede mag-mass gathering ng October, paano tayo noon?" he pointed out. "Pero huwag naman sana. Sana, sa hanggang (April) 30, medyo maayos na tayo."

Marcial previously said that the league may resume in June, but that was before the government extended the lockdown. 

He also confirmed that the ongoing PBA D-League Aspirant's Cup is most likely getting cancelled

"Sigurado 'yung D-League, hindi na," he said. "Kasi kung magsisimula sila (ulit) ng July, malamang wala na 'yang D-League."

What is certain is that the board's decision, whatever it may be, will have massive implications, not just on the league but on their partners as well.

"Kapag tinanggal mo ang isang conference, ang daming implication," Marcial noted. "Sa TV sponsorship, mga kontrata, lahat. Ang daming pwedeng mangyari, or tatamaan talaga. Domino effect eh."

As of Monday afternoon, there are 3,660 reported cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. 

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).