MANILA, Philippines – The PBA is set to welcome back fans for the Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum starting on Wednesday, February 16.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial announced the news on Saturday, February 12, after the league opted to hold the first weekend of the conference restart without live audience.
Marcial said the drop in coronavirus cases in Metro Manila and all the players being fully vaccinated – with around 95% receiving a booster shot – led to the league opening its doors to fans.
“I already talked to Araneta and they’re green and go for the return of fans,” Marcial said in a mix of Filipino and English.
For the meantime, the PBA will accommodate a maximum of 50% seating capacity, but Marcial said that may increase once the alert level status in Metro Manila gets downgraded to Alert Level 1.
Marcial also bared that the PBA had the option to host fans when it resumed the stalled Governors’ Cup last February 11, but the league decided to hold it off.
Encouraged by zero positive coronavirus cases within the league since the conference restart, Marcial said the PBA figured it is the optimal time to allow fans back in the stands.
“No one tested positive. Everyone is fully vaccinated, there are also players who have booster [shots] so we started from there,” Marcial said.
“The PBA, not the government, did not want to have fans inside because we wanted to take it slow. We saw how it is, so now, we’re a go.”
Even when the PBA troops to Antipolo City to give way for the upcoming window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers later this month, Marcial said fans can watch live at the Ynares Center. – Rappler.com