PBA moves opener to March 8 due to novel coronavirus | Inquirer Sports

PBA moves opener to March 8 due to novel coronavirus

/ 06:25 PM February 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Basketball Association has rescheduled the opening of its 45th season to a later date amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, the league announced Monday.

“It’s a preventive measure against nCoV. The safety of our fans, teams, players, and officials remain our utmost priority,” Commissioner Willie Marcial said in a statement.

The new season’s first game, featuring last year’s Philippine Cup finalists Magnolia and defending champion San Miguel Beer, was moved from March 1 to March 8, still at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.


The PBA also rescheduled the D-League’s kick-off from Feb. 13 to Mar. 2 at Paco Arena in Manila.


The league’s move to postpone its two big activities came hours after the Department of Health’s latest advisory.

“With the ongoing threat of the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, the DOH strongly urges the public to avoid attending, participating in, and organizing events that draw a huge number of attendees,” the statement said.

The annual Leo Awards and the coronation of the league’s Most Valuable Player are part of the opening-day revelries.

Five-time and reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo is a cinch to win the plum anew.

Fajardo, though, will miss the upcoming all-Filipino conference following surgery after suffering a right shinbone fracture.

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TAGS: Basketball, D-League, ncov update, novel coronavirus, PBA, schedule, virus outbreak

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