PBA’s import-spiced second conference offering up


INFECTION surges slowing down.

Jab hesitancy diminishing fast.

Vaccine supplies pouring in steadily.

Alert levels consistently going down.

Hospital admissions of Covid-19 patients now below 30 percent.

Emergency cases hitting under 20 percent.

Recovering patients discharged way, way faster than infection rate cases.

In short, signs of the pandemic getting finally licked are looking good.

Based on history, the world will, more or less, probably be healed by March 2022.  That’d be two years since the pandemic struck in March 2020.

Remember the Spanish flu that claimed almost 50 million lives almost 100 years ago?

It began in April 1918 and was contained in April 1920.  Two years.

With the smashing success last week of the Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) second bubble in Pampanga in as many conferences, the league’s looking to revive its import-spiced format this year.

With almost every sector in society being granted government’s relaxed guidelines on health protocols, the PBA could be on the road to its full status as a live entertainment again.

“We are hoping for better things to come before the year ends,” said Willie Marcial, the PBA commissioner fast recovering from a brutal bout of Covid-19.  “The PBA believes it can provide wholesome, quality entertainment, live, for everyone again.”

The first hurdle has been achieved as Marcial had gotten the approval from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for 9-A working visas exclusive for PBA imports.

Already, TNT Tropang Giga, the 4-1 winner last week of the best-of-seven Finals over Magnolia for the PBA Philippine Cup, has signed up McKenzie Moore for the Reinforced Conference that blasts off, hopefully, before the end of this month.

Only the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) approval for fan-attended games is being awaited before the PBA could finalize plans for the staging of the next Conference, with host-venues being scouted in Batangas, Rizal and Pampanga.

Only an Alert Level 2 could pave the way for imports playing in an NCR setting for the PBA.

“We have to follow what the government tells us,” Marcial said.  “Without an Alert Level 2 protocol, it’d be a bubble-type setting again for us in the next conference.”

If that happens, it would cost the 12 teams fortunes again—further depleting basketball budgets, especially for the cash-starved squads reeling from the pandemic-caused economic crunch.

But with spectators allowed back at PBA games, the gate revenues would help cushion the impact of overhead expenses.

Pray that the continuing containment of the virus persists.

THAT’S IT Only when herd immunity is achieved (at least 70 percent of our total 110-million population is inoculated) can crowds watch PBA games live again.  That’s practically a done deal in the metropolis but not yet in the entire country.

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