The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has appeared before the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on Wednesday to present the strategy they’ll employ for their much-delayed 46th playing season. 

The PBA is planning to organize two conferences this year – with the whole season expected to last until January of next year.

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial presented the association’s plan to the IATF, specifically the actions they’ll take to keep people, players safe from coronavirus. 

According to Marcial, they’ve started vaccinating all individuals involved in this season of the PBA and will finish with inoculations by next week. 

“The PBA family—from members of all the teams, staff and the PBA employees—will all be fully-vaccinated before the end of this week,” he told Inquirer

“We will not take anything for granted, health-wise, that’s why we worked hard for everyone in the league to be inoculated,” he emphasized. 

In his presentation, Marcial used the bubble the league created last year in Pampanga as an example. It was so successful that even FIBA used it as the venue for the Asia Cup Qualifying matches. 

If their proposal is approved, the commissioner said they’ll employ a closed-circuit approach, which means league and team personnel will be limited to a home-gym-home routine and will be monitored constantly through an application.

Marcial hopes that they’ll be able to launch the season this month. 

Bearing sad news, Marcial noted that basketball fans in the Philipines wouldn’t be able to watch the game live and will have to settle for the broadcast. However, he notes that they’ll eventually get to where the league was before the pandemic.

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Image credit: Joey Razon from PNA