Philippine basketball

PBA opening likely to be delayed anew

Delfin Dioquino
PBA opening likely to be delayed anew

WAITING GAME. It has been nearly 4 months since the last PBA game was played.

Photo by PBA Images

The April 18 opening date of the PBA season faces uncertainty with 'NCR Plus' being placed under enhanced community quarantine

The opening of the new PBA season is likely to be delayed again as its April 18 kickoff date looks bleaker by the day with “NCR Plus” being placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the league will plot the next course of action after April 4, when the ECQ period in “NCR Plus” – comprised of Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan – ends.

“We have to know first what type of quarantine will be implemented starting April 5. From there, we will study what the PBA should do,” Marcial told Rappler in Filipino.

The PBA has to account for the possibility of the government extending the ECQ period in the Greater Manila area.

Earlier this week, the Department of Health recommended a one-week ECQ extension for “NCR Plus,” with the agency projecting about 430,000 active coronavirus cases by the end of April if hard restrictions are not enforced.

There are currently over 130,000 active cases in the country.

Also, the PBA has to consider giving its teams ample training time.

Marcial previously said he is eyeing at least 10 to 12 days of full-blown practice for PBA clubs before the season comes off the wraps.

It will be the third time the PBA will postpone the season launch as the league pushed back its original opening date of April 9 to April 11, and eventually, to April 18.

Despite the uncertainty, Marcial has his fingers crossed that the PBA can begin staging games within a month.

“We’re hoping to start even in the last week of April or the first week of May,” Marcial said.

Marcial and the board of governors will meet after the Holy Week to discuss their plans for the season. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.