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PBA, SBP to organize China friendly with SBP
Willie Marcial
STAR/File

PBA, SBP to organize China friendly with SBP

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - April 13, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Commissioner Willie Marcial welcomed the suggestion to pit a PBA selection against a team from China in a friendly series.

“Maganda yan (That’s  good),” Marcial said of league chairman Ricky Vargas’ envisioned basketball showdown aimed at helping the country “get back some semblance of normalcy” amid the West Philippine Sea rift and the pandemic.

“Katuwang namin dapat diyan ang SBP (We need to work with the SBP on this),” he added.

Marcial said there’s a lot of details that have to be worked out before they can get the ball rolling for the China friendly.

“One, kailan gagawin? Two, paano ang pag-form ng team? (First, when do we hold it? Second, how do we form the team?),” he said.

Vargas, on the occasion of the PBA’s 46th anniversary and the “Araw ng Kagitingan” last April 9, wished for a best-of-seven series between the “PBA Warriors” and the Chinese to “jumpstart” the season.

He received the backing of PLDT chairman and sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan, who said if it would help “break the pressure and provide relief for our people,” then the PBA should do it.

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said he’s on board. “Anything to contribute to educate and create awareness on the issues that confront us on the West Philippine Sea.”

The PBA is facing uncertainties for its planned opening with the spike in COVID-19 cases over the last two months.

After two weeks under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), NCR Plus shifted to modified ECQ from yesterday to April 30, still making it impossible for the pro league to meet its eyed late April or early May tipoff.

WILLIE MARCIAL
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