PBA: 60-80 fans to be allowed in virtual fan board

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2020 03:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Fans will soon be featured on the PBA's virtual fan board, a strip of LED screens surrounding the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Gym where all Philippine Cup games are being played. 

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said Tuesday that right now, the league and its broadcast partner are still working out the details on how fans can "enter" the virtual space.

"Ang dami (na dapat gawin) bago ka makapasok," Marcial explained during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum. "Magagalit sa atin ang mga fans."

"So titingnan muna nila kung paano, para two steps na lang. Kasi ngayon, ang daming dapat gawin eh," he added.

At the moment, there is restricted access to the virtual fan boards. 

Members of the PBA Press Corps and league personnel have been shown on the LED screen, as well as relatives of the players -- and even the players themselves.

On Sunday, Alaska's Sonny Thoss showed up to watch the Aces play TNT Tropang Giga, and on Monday, NorthPort guard Robert Bolick watched his team play the Blackwater Elite. 

There will be limited space for the fans, however, as the PBA will reserve slots for players' relatives and team sponsors, among others. 

"Siguro, mga 60-80 slots ang mga fans per game," said Marcial. "Pero 'yun nga, 'pag lumabas ka, wala ka na, may papalit na sa 'yo na susunod."

"Pinag-aaralan pa namin," he added. "Inaayos pa. Pinangako sa akin na by October 19, magpapasok na (ng fans)."

The PBA will announce the process of reserving a slot in the virtual fan board in the coming days.

The virtual fan board has become a popular way for fans to show their support to their team during the pandemic, with several leagues still holding games behind closed doors. In the NBA, for instance, celebrities and Hall of Famers "sat" beside fans in the virtual fan section. Even former US President Barack Obama showed up during the NBA Finals.