As sports return worldwide, Marcial hopeful that PBA season can resume


Posted at May 12 2020 04:38 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- PBA commissioner Willie Marcial remains hopeful that the league's 45th season can be salvaged, even for just one conference.

Making Marcial more optimistic is that sporting events all around the world -- from Taiwan to South Korea to the United States and Europe -- are slowly resuming.

"A handful of NBA teams are opening practice facilities, and it could well lead to the resumption of the NBA season. Major League Baseball is looking at reopening shop in July," said Marcial. "Football in Europe is about to resume."

"All these make me hopeful we can resume our Season 45," he said.

The league opened its 45th season on March 8, but suspended all activities just three days later because of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Since then, the Board of Governors and Marcial decided that they will either resume for one conference, or cancel the season outright.

Marcial agreed with the government's decision on Tuesday to extend the restrictions in many parts of the country. However, he also expressed his hopes that the government measures can flatten the curve soon, and subsequently allow the resumption of sports activities -- including the PBA.

"The board decision is to wait until August. Medyo matagal pa 'yon. Hopefully, by that time, medyo okay na, and allowed na ang gathering for a sports event, like the PBA," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday approved the proposal to put Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu City under a modified enhanced community quarantine until May 31.

Under the modified lockdown, communities are still severely restricted, with most only allowed to leave their homes for provision of food and other basic necessities, and in case of emergency.

Wearing a facemask is a must, and physical distancing is still implemented.

"I'm expecting that, kasi marami pa ring cases of infection. I'm also endorsing wearing facemasks and social distancing," said Marcial. "It's the new normal or new life for us, until there's a vaccine."

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