THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) assured that safety measures will be observed when the league kicks off its 45th season Sunday amid the continuous outbreak of the coronavirus.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said venues that will hold games for the season-opening Philippine Cup are required by the league to provide medical supplies such as thermometer scan, hand sanitizer or alcohol to ensure the safety of the viewing public.
Smart Araneta Coliseum will hold the season opener this Sunday featuring the lone game between five-time defending champion San Miguel Beer and Magnolia.
“Yes, usapan na namin sa mga venues na sila ang magpo-provide nun (supplies),” said Marcial. “Malaking bagay yun. Alam mo rin naman tayong mga Pilipino ay nag-i-ingat din.”
As it is, the league has already been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, deferring the opening of the new season for a week after it was originally scheduled for March 1.
The one-week postponement was upon the suggestion of the commissioner.
“Na-suggest ko yun (during the PBA planning session), nai-delay muna (ang opening) para malaman natin kung ano ang mangyayari, na sa tingin ko nakabuti naman.”
Even with a week delay, the schedule of the league for the entire season was also affected.
“Ngayon baka umabot na yung buong season hanggang February. Malaking bagay yung isang lingo na yun,” he said.
But then again, the public’s safety is always first and foremost.
All over the world, a lot of sporting events have been cancelled or postponed, including qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics.
Here at home, UAAP and NCAA games scheduled last month were reset due to the virus scare.