PH Cup takes break under ECQ, but Batangas venue ready
Whether or not the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) secures a clearance from the Department of Health (DOH), it’s Philippine Cup eliminations will go on a break starting on Friday, the first day of another extreme lockdown in the National Capital Region.
Commissioner Willie Marcial told the Inquirer on Monday that the PBA will need around “four to five” days to prepare for its relocation to Lipa City, that is if the DOH approves the PBA’s request to play its remaining games there as Metro Manila will be under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) beginning Aug. 6.
But as things stand, the PBA has yet to secure that green light.
“We haven’t heard from them (DOH) yet,” the league chief told the Inquirer on Monday. “So we’re still waiting for word on how to proceed.”
Should the league fail to secure the go-signal, Marcial said the league will have no choice but to ride things out.
“There’s pretty much nothing that we can do should [the government] decide that we can’t go on with the games. So we’ll have to wait it out, too,” he added.
The Inquirer reported last Friday that the league has put together a contingency plan for another round of community lockdowns. On Saturday, Marcial revealed that it has selected Lipa City as a venue for its games and neighboring Batangas towns as sites for team practices.
The games will be held at Lipa City Sports Complex using a closed-circuit setup, and teams will be allowed to pitch camps near the venue to ensure their safety, according to Marcial
Until the ECQ takes effect, the PH Cup will proceed as scheduled—meaning the five matches combined for Wednesday and Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City are still a go.
Marcial knows that the PBA could face another set of logistical hurdles should the games continue in Batangas, but he assured the league, along with its broadcast partner, TV5, are ready.
“We’re going to be OK. We’re prepared and ready to go,” he said. INQ