By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
The Philippine Basketball Association moved to postpone all games in the Philippine Cup beginning Friday, Oct. 30, until new protocols proposed by the government are out in place.
In a statement, the league said it was heeding the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Technical Working Group and the Department of Health (DoH) Advisory Group of Experts to stop the proceedings for now “to ensure the integrity and safety of the PBA Bubble.”
The PBA reopened its coronavirus pandemic-hit season on Oct. 11 after getting government nod under a “bubble” setup in Clark City in Angeles, Pampanga, where all the participants are holed up for the duration of the Philippine Cup.
Recently though the league’s government-approved return guidelines were put to a test when two individuals – a referee and a player of the Blackwater team – tested positive for the coronavirus.
They were later ruled as “false positive,” or “when someone does not have the coronavirus, tests positive for it” after their confirmatory antigen and reverse transcription polymerase reaction (RT-PCR) tests yielded negative results.
The referee and player continued to follow quarantine procedures after, staying in the Athletes’ Village in Capas, Tarlac, as a precautionary measure.
Amid the developments, the PBA assured that there was nothing to worry about and that they were addressing the matter accordingly.
League and government officials were still meeting as of publication time.
In making the decision to postpone the games, the PBA thanked the IATF, DoH and Clark Development Corporation (CDC) for their continuous support and guidance.