Marcial: Vaccination to boost PBA’s hopes of returning in May or June
MANILA, Philippines — PBA commissioner Willie Marcial remains upbeat that the league can still resume play in May at the earliest.
But Marcial admitted COVID-19 vaccinations will play a crucial role in the PBA’s plans of holding its 46th season this year.
“I’m still hoping we can start late May or in June,” said Marcial on the PBA website. “Everything will be easier if we get a vaccine.”
The league had originally planned an April tipoff for its new season.
But a surge in COVID-19 infections in the country that led to the National Capital Region Plus reverting back to a stricter lockdown measure derailed the PBA’s plans anew.
Last March, the league announced that sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan, who owns three PBA franchises namely NLEX, Meralco and TNT, will be donating 3,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for 1,500 members of the PBA family.
But the use of AstraZeneca jabs in the country has been temporarily suspended by the Department of Health (DOH) due to concerns over rare cases of blood clots with low platelets found in individuals inoculated with the type of vaccine in several countries.
A special PBA Board of Governors meeting will be held on Monday with plans for the 46th season among the matters to be discussed.
As it stands, the league is still in a wait-and-see approach with Metro Manila along with Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal still under modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).
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