By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
The Philippine Basketball Association player who earlier tested positive for the coronavirus yielded negative results in confirmatory tests, the league announced on Monday.
In an announcement, the PBA said the player, playing for the Blackwater Elite, had his antigen and reverse transcription polymerase reaction (RT-PCR) tests on Sunday and both came out negative.
The welcome news moved the league to refer to the case as possibly one of “false positive,” or “when someone does not have the coronavirus, tests positive for it.”
It is similar to that of the first suspected case in the PBA — a referee — who had negative results after undergoing confirmatory tests.
But as part of protocols in place, the Blackwater player will remain at the Athletes’ Village in Capas, Tarlac, for quarantine.
The Blackwater team, as well as the TNT Tropang Giga, whom the Elite faced in their last game, were asked to stay in isolation as the results of the tests on the player were being awaited, forcing the postponement of their respective scheduled matches set for Sunday and Monday. Said games are to be rescheduled to a later date.
The PBA teams, meanwhile, are set for their third cycle of RT-PCR tests this week in accordance with the league’s protocols to guard against the spread of the coronavirus.
“TNT, Terrafirma, Magnolia, Meralco and Phoenix will undergo their third cycle of RT-PCR test on Tuesday followed by the remaining teams in the coming days,” the PBA said in statement.
It went on to say that the PBA delegates — officials, staff and referees, TV5 delegates and Quest hotel staff — in the “bubble” in Clark City in Pampanga all tested negative.
Amid everything that has been happening, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial assured that everything is still under control in the bubble.
“The bubble has not burst. There is nothing to worry about. We are doing everything we can to address the situation,” he said.
But the PBA chief said they will now be stricter on the protocols to better guard against the coronavirus just as he enjoined all the participants to do their part in preserving the integrity of the bubble they long worked hard for to happen.
The PBA reopened its coronavirus pandemic-hit season on Oct. 11 after getting government nod under a bubble setup in Clark City, where all the participants are holed up for the duration of the tournament, lasting at least two months.
THE BEAST RETURNS
Meanwhile, later on Monday Calvin Abueva was set to make his PBA Philippine Cup return for the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters after being suspended by the league for 15 months.
Mr. Abueva and the Fuel Masters (3-2) were to face the NLEX Road Warriors (1-4).
“The Beast,” as Mr. Abueva is monikered for his aggressive and physical style of play, was indefinitely suspended by the league in June last year for conduct unbecoming of a professional and actions detrimental to the PBA, including clotheslining TNT import Terrence Jones which nearly started a big fight.
He was reinstated at the weekend after fulfilling the requirements set by the league.