By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has calendared key meetings with stakeholders this week as the league looks to fortify further plans for the resumption of its currently suspended season.
Commissioner Willie Marcial is set to meet player-representatives of the 12 member teams on Wednesday and then with the PBA board the following day.
The league will be seeking input from the players on the PBA’s push to resume its 45th season in October after action was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, with only one game played in the Philippine Cup.
Said to be discussed with the players are the tournament format and venues to be used in the restart and, at the same time, get their thoughts on playing with the pandemic still very much a concern.
“It’s important that we get input from the players, especially since they’re the ones going to play and entertain the PBA fans,” said Mr. Marcial, in Filipino, of the meeting with the players.
The teams are expected to send two representatives each.
Among those said to be going are Ginebra’s LA Tenorio, San Miguel’s Chris Ross, Magnolia’s Marc Pingris, NorthPort’s Sean Anthony, TNT’s Jayson Castro, Meralco’s Reynel Hugnatan, NLEX’s Asi Taulava, Blackwater’s Mac Belo, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood, Phoenix’s Matthew Wright, Alaska’s Vic Manuel, and Terra Firma’s CJ Perez.
In June, Mr. Marcial met with the players to discuss protocols for the return to modified team workouts.
The PBA workouts have been a success to date with no reported coronavirus cases.
The league is seeking to begin full contact scrimmages this month, writing to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to get its approval.
Meanwhile, the meeting with the Board of Governors will take off from its initial discussion last Friday on the planned bubble setting for the league’s return.
The league board had decided to narrow down the bubble sites to three and is looking to make a final decision soon.
Under the bubble setup, teams, players, officials, and league staff will be holed up in one facility for a duration of time as the tournament is held.
The PBA is considering a bubble similar to that of the National Basketball Association, where all teams and matches are hosted in one place. Another is a semi-bubble type, where participants stay in a designated hotel and go to the venue from there. Third is similar to that of the Bundesliga, where participants restrict their movements to home and venue and back.
The PBA is looking to restart the season on Oct. 9.