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Sports

Governors’ cup kicks off December 8

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Governorsâ cup kicks off December 8
STAR / File
Willie Marcial

MANILA, Philippines — The PBA has set the kickoff date for the Governors’ Cup on Dec. 8 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, initially under a closed-door setup but with hopes of having crowd attendance somewhere down the road.

Although it’s already a go for the games, the pro league still has to secure consent from the various local government units (LGUs) housing prospective venues to let spectators in.

“Magsisimula tayo wala pang fans kasi kakausapin pa namin ang LGUs. Tinatawag kami ng kanya-kanyang konseho para mag-present sa kanila,” said commissioner Willie Marcial.

“Tayo ay umaasa na mapagbigyan ang ating kahilingan na pahintulutang makapasok at makapanood ang ating mga fans ng laro,” he added.

PBA execs are banking on a recent resolution by Metro Manila mayors recommending guidelines for the conduct of contact sports, including requirements for individuals who will watch the games, including full vaccination.

Live spectators haven’t been to PBA matches since the Season 45 opener between San Miguel Beer and Magnolia at the Smart Araneta Coliseum back in March 2020 before the pandemic broke out.

Aside from the Ynares-Pasig and the Big Dome in Quezon City, the PBA is looking at the MOA Arena in Pasay City, Ynares Center in Antipolo City and FilOil Arena in San Juan as playing hubs for its import-flavored second conference.

The pro league earlier considered a Nov. 28 start but pushed it back to allow foreign reinforcements to complete quarantine requirements upon arrival and get ample time to train with their respective squads.

A mix of old and new faces led by Barangay Ginebra’s resident import Justin Brownlee are set to spice up action again following a pair of All-Filipino bubble and semi-bubble tournaments.

Aside from Brownlee, NLEX’ KJ McDaniels, Alaska’s Olu Ashaolu, San Miguel’s Brandon Brown, NorthPort’s Cameron Forte, Terrafirma’s Antonio Hester, Rain or Shine’s Henry Walker,  Meralco’s Tony Bishop, Blackwater’s Jaylen Bond, Phoenix’ Paul Harris, Magnolia’s Mike Harris and TNT’s McKenzie Moore will reinforce their respective teams.

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