Caring for its own | Inquirer Sports

Caring for its own

The PBA and its teams will continue to pay its game-day staff and players in full even during these uncertain times
By: - Sports Editor / @ftjochoaINQ
/ 04:07 AM April 20, 2020

PBA Governors. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

There may be uncertainty as far as when the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) can continue with its 45th season, but commissioner Willie Marcial said there is one thing that he is sure of: Players and league staff will receive their paychecks intact even as the country grapples with an economy-crippling pandemic.

Marcial told the Inquirer on Saturday there was no possible way to pencil a timetable for the league’s return and that has allowed his office to focus on more pressing needs—foremost of which is to mitigate the impact of lost revenue on league workers who are paid by the game day.


“We will continue to find ways to make sure everybody gets paid,” Marcial said. “Right now, that is one of our main concerns because we understand that in these times, people need to put food on the table.”


Marcial added players will also receive their paychecks intact despite the lack of games.

“In every video conference we’ve had so far, that was never an issue,” Marcial said.

The reassurance comes at a time when the NBA announced on Friday that it will withhold 25 percent of player pay starting with their May 15 checks.

Commissioner Adam Silver, speaking after the league’s regularly scheduled April board of governors meeting—one that took place through video conferencing and not the usual in-person setting in New York—said all options remain on the table for trying to resume play and eventually crowning a champion.

“I think there is a sense that we can continue to take the leading role as we learn more in coming up with an appropriate regimen and protocol for returning to business,” Silver said. “There’s a recognition from [owners] that this is bigger than our business; certainly, bigger than sports.”

The salary decision was made in concert with the National Basketball Players Association, the league saying it would “provide players with a more gradual salary reduction schedule” if games are officially canceled or the rest of the season is totally lost.

Willie Marcial

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Players will be paid in full on May 1. The cutback in salary has been expected for some time in response to the NBA’s shutdown that started on March 11, and has no end in sight.

The salary cut is seen as a consequence of lost revenue, the same thing the PBA is reeling from with the continued Luzon-wide lockdown because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Marcial, however, assured game-day personnel that the PBA board has authorized the use of carryover revenue from last season to cover their paychecks.

“We are also trying to find alternative ways to get revenue for the league, but in the meantime, we have enough funds to pay our staff,” Marcial said.

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The PBA chief had earlier announced several alternatives to rescue the league’s 45th season. The choices revolve mainly around holding a two-conference format or play just one conference. The final decision will depend on how soon the quarantine is lifted and how soon the government will allow mass gatherings. INQ

TAGS: Basketball, PBA

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