Sorry, no games

Willie Marcial
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial meets the sportswriters to announce the cancellation of the games scheduled yesterday during a press conference at the PBA Office in Libis, Quezon City. The decision was made during the PBA board's meeting on Tuesday night.

FOR the second time in less than a month, the PBA has reared back from the effects of the new corona virus.

The pro league  yesterday suspended indefinitely the just-opened Philippine Cup due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Among those affected games which will be played in a later date was last night's doubleheader between TNT and Phoenix Super LPG, and NLEX and NorthPort at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Saturday provincial game in Bataan featuring Barangay Ginebra and Blackwater has also been rescheduled to a later date.

The league also put on hold the ongoing PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup games and activities and PBA 3x3 inaugurals until further notice.

The D-League matches which was supposed to be played today at the Ynares Sports Arena, but will be moved to a later date are Technological Institute of the Philippines and AMA Online Senior High, Wang's-Letran and Family Mart-Enderun, and SeaOil-FEU and APEX Fuel-SSC-R

In a special board meeting Tuesday night, the PBA Board of Governors through the Office of the Commissioner, decided to suspend the games effective yesterday as a safety measure due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said that they discussed the possibility of suspending from two weeks to a month, or holding games behind closed doors.

In the end, suspension  for Marcial was better than having closed-door games, which would require 300-400 people to man the league's gameday operations.

"Nakita ng Board of Governors kung anong ikakabuti ng lahat, safety at health ng mga tao. Hindi lang players, fans, pati referees, lahat na," said Marcial.

"Hindi na namin tinitingnan kung ano impact sa schedule, pera. Tinitingnan muna namin ang kalagayan at safety ng lahat," he added.

The league will assess the effects of COVID-19 on a day-to-day basis guided by the parameters set by the Department of Health and World Health Organization and will remain committed to conduct its games and activities in a safe and responsible manner for all its stakeholders.

Marcial said that the ticket holders of the scheduled Bataan road game should keep their receipts since the same tickets would be used once the game is rescheduled.

With the coronavirus outbreak that suspended play, the league could see its 45th season end in March or April 2021.

The COVID-19 situation has wreaked havoc to the country's sporting competitions, as collegiate leagues UAAP and NCAA have earlier suspended play.

The Philppine SuperLiga on Tuesday held its doubleheader behind closed doors at the Filoil Flying V Centre, while the AFC Cup match between reigning Philippine club champion Ceres-Negros FC and Indonesia's Bali United played in an empty Rizal Memorial Stadium.