MANILA – The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) announced on Wednesday that it will postpone all its activities in the 5×5 and even the 3×3 scenes indefinitely due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said the decision was made after a lengthy emergency meeting set by the league’s board of governors.
“Nag-meeting kami kahapon [nang] 9 [p.m.] Tumagal siguro nang mga tatlo’t kalahating oras (We met at 9 p.m. last night. It probably lasted for three and a half hours),” Marcial said in a press conference at the PBA office in Quezon City on Wednesday.
He said the board tackled possible options, including shorter postponements and the possibility of still pushing through with the scheduled games although in a closed-door setting similar to the Gilas Pilipinas Men’s FIBA World Cup Qualifiers match against Qatar in 2018.
The Philippine Super Liga already opted to take the closed-door route in its matches in the Grand Prix conference, while a Philippines Football League club, Ceres Negros, moved to hold its AFC Cup game against Bali United behind closed doors later Wednesday.
On the other hand, persons privy to the matter told the Philippine News Agency that Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League said San Juan Knights are also considering holding Game 2 of the league’s North Division Finals against the Makati Skyscrapers also later Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre behind closed doors.
Supposed to take place at the Makati Coliseum, San Juan suddenly got the hosting rights for the said match due to the unavailability of the said arena.
The development came two days after the FilOil Flying V Centre also put Game 2 of the UAAP boys basketball finals behind closed doors.
Asked why the PBA decided to suspend the games, Marcial said, “Nakita ng board of governors kung ano ang iko-consider nila: safety ng lahat–hindi lang players, fans, pati mga referees, so mas makakabuti na suspended muna yung games (The board of governors saw what to consider: the safety of everyone–not just the players and the fans but also the referees, so it was for the better that the games should be suspended).”
Among those affected by the suspension are the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup, the ongoing PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, and the upcoming PBA 3×3 First Conference. (PNA)