Feeling the brunt

June 10, 2020

PBA losing lots of moolah due to coronavirus pandemic

Greatly affected by health crisis like everybody else, the Philippine Basketball Association is feeling the pinch.

According to PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, the country's biggest sporting league has been greatly affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), losing an estimated P30 million a month since work was stopped in mid-March.

"Sobrang naapektuhan ang PBA," said Marcial during the  Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, where he discussed the state of the league as well as its plans to resume holding games.

"Ang mawawala sa amin gate receipts. Ang mawawala sa 'min television. Ang mawawala sa amin sponsorship. At patuloy pa rin kaming nagbabayad sa mga tao namin," he explained. "Lampas ng P30 million a month ang mawawala sa amin. Conservative 'yun."

Marcial clarified that these are the league's own losses and do not take into account the losses incurred by the 12 franchises.

Given the crisis the country is in, the PBA boss  said they have no choice but to roll with the punch, so to speak.

The region's first professional basketball league opened its 45th season last March 8, but hostilities were halted just three days later to help curb the  pandemic.

"Lahat lahat ng negosyo naapektuhan. Parang mapipilayan, ganoon. Ganoon din ang nararamdaman ng PBA," said Marcial. "Pero buti na lang may kaunti tayong savings."

"Malaki ang nawala. Alam natin sakripisyo naman 'to, 'di naman natin kagustuhan 'to. Pero may kalakihan kada buwan," he added.

"Wala kaming sinisisi. Wala kaming tinuturo. Ganun talaga eh. Kahit 'yung ibang malalaking negosyo, tinatamaan talaga ng ano... Kaya buti na lang and'yan 'yung mga team owners at mga governors na patuloy na tinutulungan kami."

They are hopeful that at least part of the season can be salvaged, with the league submitting its protocols for teams' return to practices to the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Department of Health last week.

While they have yet to receive a response, Marcial said he received positive "informal" feedback from the task force. The league commissioner has previously said that he hopes to resume practices by July.

"Hindi po mawawala ang PBA," Marcial also said in a message to fans. "Kung hindi po ngayong taon na 'to, next year sigurado and'yan kami."

"Kailangan po talaga namin ng dasal para matuloy ang liga natin, at patuloy na sinasabi ko, sundin po natin ang protocols ng DOH at ng gobyerno, at respetuhin natin ang quarantine," he added.