Life After Lockdown: Filipino sports fans' year wrecked over scrapped schedules, postponed leagues
Life After Lockdown: Filipino sports fans' year wrecked over scrapped schedules, postponed leagues
Luisa Morales ( - May 29, 2020 - 9:00am's Life After Lockdown is a compendium of references on Filipinos' shift to a new normalcy during a coronavirus pandemic.

MANILA, Philippines — Sports fans in the Philippines may have to wait a significant amount of time before sporting events return to "normal" after the modified enhanced community quarantine.

What's happening: As the country continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Inter-Agency Task Force has declared that mass gatherings, including sporting events, will still be prohibited under the general community quarantine.

  • The Philippine Sports Commission earlier said it will cancel all of its activities until the end of the year, including the country's hosting of the 10th ASEAN Para Games.
  • The Department of Health also disapproved PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez's proposal that some individual sports may be played.
  • Golf and running, however, were exceptions to this since players will be able to do social distancing during play.

Pro leagues in the country also face uncertainty as the PBA, Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) and Philippine Super Liga (PSL) seasons are put on hold.

  • The PBA is mulling either holding a single conference-season or scrapping it altogether.
  • Founded by Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the MPBL is hoping to finish its third season with only a few games left in the Lakan Cup. League commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said in April that they will not cancel the season and will resume with closed-door games as soon as logistics will allow. A delay in the opening of its fourth season, supposedly scheduled on June 12 this year, is also expected.
  • The PSL already scrapped its Grand Prix tournament in March. The league has yet to decide on its other conferences for the year.
  • Rival league Premier Volleyball League, which was supposed to open this May, has also pushed back its opening.

Collegiate leagues are also exploring other options with their schedules because of the health crisis.

  • The NCAA Management Committee has already recommended a November start to its 96th season, instead of its usual July opening.
  • The UAAP has yet to make any statements. Coaches from different member schools, however, expressed support should the UAAP be pushed back to January of next year.

Bottom-line: Sporting activities may be one of the last things to return to "normal" once the general enhanced community quarantine is lifted. Filipino fans can expect little to no sports in the coming months.



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