By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) can finally begin its 46th season, Malacañang said Friday.
This was after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved the PBA’s request to allow the start of the league’s 46th season on July 16, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
“This, however, is subject to the strict compliance of the health and safety protocols, as provided for under the guidelines of the Games and Amusement Board,” Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said.
The PBA originally set the holding of its 46th season on April 9 but the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic prevented the league from pursuing its plan.
The PBA is expected to commence the Philippine Cup at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City on Friday.
The PBA will adopt a “closed-circuit” setup. Spectators will not be allowed in the venue to ensure the safety of the athletes and staff.
Games will be held at the Ynares Arena on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with triple-headers set for each playing date.
The PBA will launch its 3×3 tournament by mid-August.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial earlier said the 46th season would end by January 2022.
All players, coaches, team personnel, referees, and league employees underwent a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test before the start of the season.
Regular RT-PCR testing will be made on a 10-day cycle. (PNA)