MANILA - The PBA referee who was tagged as a suspected positive case has returned a negative result from an RT-PCR test, the league announced on Sunday.
The referee was extracted from the Quest Hotel on Wednesday morning, and transferred to the quarantine facility, the Athletes' Village in New Clark City. There, he was tested via antigen and RT-PCR, producing a negative result from the antigen.
The result of his RT-PCR test came back as negative on Sunday morning.
"Hindi pa rin natin ire-relax," said Bases Conversion and Development Authority president Vince Dizon in a press conference. "Hindi porke't nag-negative na siya ngayon, papabalikin na natin 'yung referee sa bubble at magta-trabaho na siya ulit."
Instead, the referee will complete his quarantine at the Athletes' Village before he is allowed to return to the Quest Hotel.
Even then, he still has to follow the league's re-entry protocols.
"He has been in quarantine for five days, we'll just allow him to finish the remaining days of his isolation, para lang sigurado tayo," said Dizon.
"After the five days, he will re-enter the bubble, but the ref needs to go through the re-entry protocol, which is again another round of PCR testing," he added.
All of the referee's close contacts have tested negative in both antigen and RT-PCR tests as well.
The PBA is hopeful that the Blackwater Elite player who tested positive will also wind up returning negative results in his subsequent tests. The player has already produced a negative result following an antigen test on Sunday afternoon.
"Kung ano 'yung ginawa nating protocol sa ating referee, ganoon din po ang gagawin natin sa ating player," Dizon assured.
"Napaka-importante na tiong mga protocol natin ay susundin natin at hindi tayo magsho-short cut. Kailangan protektahan natin ang integrity ng bubble," he also said.