PBA: More referees headed to Clark bubble

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 22 2020 12:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- At least two more referees are headed to the PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga, after a game official was tagged as a suspected COVID-19-positive case on Wednesday, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said.

The referee has since been transferred to a quarantine facility at the Athletes' Village in New Clark City, while his close contacts have been isolated and will be tested for the coronavirus again. These include the other game officials who worked with the referee in Tuesday night's games at the Angeles University Foundation Gym.

The situation has put the PBA in a bind, as there are now only seven active referees inside the bubble who can work in the 2020 All-Filipino Conference. 

Marcial said in a press briefing on Wednesday night that the remaining active referees will work back-to-back games until Sunday night, when they expect to receive the results of the RT-PCR tests for the other game officials.

"Meron tayong lima sa line-up. Pinapunta ko na 'yung two to three referees na makakaakyat na dito sa atin," he added.

"Pero katulad pa rin 'yun, may mga quarantine, may self-isolation, so iintayin natin," he also said. "Kung anong protocol na ginamit natin 'pag pumasok, 'yun din ang gagawin nilang protocol."

Previously, Marcial sent a referee out of the PBA bubble after an errant call in the game between NorthPort and Rain or Shine, which led to a slim victory for the Elasto Painters.

Four referees generally work in each game, but Marcial said some adjustments will have to be made in the meantime.

"As of now, ginagawa pa namin 'yun, pero tinitingnan namin na tatlo na lang," he said. "Bihira lang pumasok 'yung alternate referee, para makalaro sa second game."

"Parang team, pine-pace na namin ang mga referees. Pacing na rin," he added.