PBA may scrap season 45
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the league is ready to call off the COVID-hit Season 45 altogether if resumption of play won’t still be possible by September or October.
STAR/File

PBA may scrap season 45

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - April 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A PBA season drawn up as a caravan of celebrations, with stops practically all over the country and even overseas, has gone awry.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the league is ready to call off the COVID-hit Season 45 altogether if resumption of play won’t still be possible by September or October.

“Government is considering the opening of classes by September. We’ll see kung papayagan na rin yung mass gathering (by that time). Kung hindi pa papayagan ang sports, baka i-cancel na natin yung season,” said Marcial.

The PBA board of governors is looking to convene online again this week for more discussions on the league’s situation and actions amid the pandemic that has crippled all sectors.

Metro Manila is currently under extended enhanced community quarantine until May 15. In case this will later be downgraded to general community quarantine status, activities involving large crowds won’t be allowed immediately.

If everyone’s worst fear happens, this will be the first time Asia’s first play-for-pay league will scrap an entire season.

“(If ever) Season 46 na tayo. Start ng March (2021). Yung champions ng three conferences ng Season 44, they will defend their crowns then; rookies (of Season 45) ay rookies pa rin, tapos madadagdagan pa (from 2020 Draft),” he said.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the PBA was looking at a bevy of marquee projects to mark its 45th anniversary, and has projected record numbers in terms of revenues.

“Kung walang basketball, wala rin tayong activities. Malaking sakripisyo ang nangyayari sa PBA,” said Marcial.

The league set out to launch the inaugural 3x3 tournament and implement measures to improve officiating and the referees/table officials development program. 

It also aimed to continue to reach out to the less fortunate and perform CSR activities, including Home Court where players and officials visit barangay street courts, Open Practice in college gyms, Blood Donation Drive, Kids Day Out, Make A Wish Foundation, World Vision, PBA Heroes and Veterans and PBA Run For A Cause. 

The PBA also planned an exhibit road show of video clips, memorabilia and jerseys spanning 45 years in a docu-like production, which Marcial dubbed a “virtual multi-museum.”

But in this time of crisis, the league has done its share, donating P1 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to health workers in Pasig, Antipolo and Biñan, Laguna.

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