PBA: Alaska governor Bachmann watches games, but not allowed near players

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 22 2020 11:26 PM

Alaska team governor Dickie Bachmann. PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines -- Alaska team governor Dickie Bachmann was one of the spectators for the Aces' game against Rain or Shine on Thursday night at the AUF Gym in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Alaska head coach Jeff Cariaso said after the game that the team is grateful for Bachmann's presence, especially as the governor "goes home after every game."

"He drives in and out, so he doesn't stay in the bubble," Cariaso said. "But his presence here means a lot, you know." 

"He's always that type of GM (general manager) that will show that he'll support the team no matter what. So he drives in and out of Clark every time we have a game. So we're just happy that he's here," he added.

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Alaska won the game, 89-88, escaping after Rey Nambatac missed a layup at the buzzer. 

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial confirmed to ABS-CBN News that Bachmann was at the game, but he is only allowed to enter the AUF Gym after producing a negative result from an RT-PCR test with three days' validity.

Moreover, he cannot approach the players or enter the dugout, and he can only watch the game from behind an acrylic screen, similar to what is installed in front of the table officials.

"Hindi in and out ng bubble (si Gov. Bachmann). In and out sa (AUF) gym," said Marcial.

The PBA, the Clark Development Corporation, and the Bases Conversion Development Authority previously said that the Angeles University Foundation Gym is a part of the league's bubble. The venue is a 10-minute drive from the Quest Hotel, where the entire PBA delegation is staying for the duration of the Philippine Cup.

"Hindi lang po ang Clark at ang Quest ang ilalagay natin sa bubble. Pati lahat ng venues for practice, and for the games itself, lahat po 'yan naka-bubble," BCDA President Vince Dizon said in an interview on Sports Page last September.

"Ibig sabihin lahat po ng papasok diyan at lalabas diyan ay kailangan very, very strict na protocol ng testing and checking for clinical symptoms, gagawin po 'yan ng ating mga health experts at ating mga doktor," Dizon also said.

Marcial said Bachmann is not allowed inside the Quest Hotel.

"Wala, wala, bawal 'yun. Sa gym lang, sa venue. Sa AUF," he said.

"Hindi ka makakapasok kahit sinong governor. Walang makakapasok sa hotel," he added.

The commissioner said Bachmann has to take repeated swab tests in order to be allowed to watch the Aces at the AUF Gym, where all games of the PBA Philippine Cup will be played. 

Marcial adds that the Alaska team governor is also being monitored via the StaySafe PH app, the official contact tracing app of the league.

"Tapos hindi ka pwede lumapit sa players, 'di ka pwedeng pumunta sa dugout. At meron kang parang 'yun nga, may acrylic glass ka doon eh," the commissioner said. "Doon lang, talagang naka-acrylic, hindi ka makakapunta sa player, wala talaga."

On Wednesday, the league announced that a referee has been tagged as a suspected positive case. The official was removed from Quest Hotel and taken to the quarantine facility in Capaz, Tarlac, where he has since returned a negative result from an antigen test. 

The PBA is currently waiting for the result of the referee's RT-PCR test to determine if he had returned a "false positive" from his earlier test.