Live fans possible in PBA’s potential return to NCR


THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) could hold its second conference in Metro Manila once quarantine protocols are lowered to Alert Level 2, Senate Sports Committee Chairman Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Wednesday.

Go also told BusinessMirror that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases heeded the PBA’s request to resume its import-laden second conference later this month with fans.

“In response to the PBA letter dated October 29, the IATF indicated that indoor basketball games will be allowed in a places under Alert Level 2 and where the concerned LGU [local government unit] has no objection, at 50 percent of the indoor venue seating capacity,” Go said.

The IATF is looking at the possibility of putting Metro Manila at Alert Level 2 starting November 15 because of the decline in Covid-19 cases.

“I’m hopeful that finally the PBA games will resume in Metro Manila because there’s a big possibility that the entire National Capital Region  will be declared to Alert Level 2 before Christmas,” Go said. “If the league returns to Manila, it will be huge not only for the PBA but for the people and for small and big time business establishments.”

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial also confirmed on Wednesday that the league would definitely hold its second conference regardless of whether or not it would be held in a bubble or with fans in Metro Manila.

“We’re going to run the second conference either Alert [Level] 2 or 3 and then let’s see what else we can do,” Marcial said. “We can still hold the games in the province. But if Metro Manila will be declared Alert Level 2, then that will be good for everybody.”

The Philippine Cup concluded over the weekend with TNT Tropang Giga winning the crown at the expense of Magnolia in a bubble setup at tyhe Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Marcial also confirmed that the Department of Foreign Affairs has granted the league a special permit to allow all 12 teams to bring in foreign imports for the upcoming tournament.

The teams already have their respective reinforcements—Justin Brownlee for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Mike Harris for Magnolia, Henry Walker for Rain or Shine, Shabazz Muhammad for Meralco, Paul Harris for Phoenix, Brandon Brown for San Miguel Beer, KJ McDaniel for NLEX, Olu Ashaolu for Alaska, Antonio Hester for Terrafirma, Jaylen Bond for Blackwater, Cameron Forte for NorthPort and McKenzie Moore for TNT.

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