PH Cup could finish in NCR; Marcial guarantees no repeat of Kiefer case
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) found a temporary home in Pampanga province, but the league is still hoping to stage the most intense legs of its centerpiece Philippine Cup tournament in the capital if the health situation takes a needed turn for the better.
“If things ease in the capital, we might just go with the idea. Say, by October, restrictions are relaxed, then we might just hold the playoffs there,” PBA commissioner Willie Marcial told the Inquirer on Thursday.
For now, the league chief is focused on the task at hand and that is to ensure that the restart goes on without any hitches. Marcial said the league is soon setting up at Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU) in Bacolor town after meeting with school officials and “agreeing on principle” to the PBA’s use of its newly-refurbished gym for the continuation of elimination round games.
“It will take around three or four days for us to transfer our gear and equipment (from Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig) to DHVSU. So Sept. 1, 2 or 3—in any of those days, we could restart,” he said.
Meanwhile, Marcial said he wishes the best for Ray Parks Jr. and Kiefer Ravena, two league standouts who will be playing in the more lucrative Japan B.League.
Parks Jr., the two-way star guard who last played for the TNT franchise, is set to play for the Nagoya Dolphins, while Ravena for the Shiga Lakestars.
“That’s good for them. We wish both of them luck. Kiefer, however, will have to come back,” Marcial noted.
Marcial, although without expounding on it, also pointed out that in no way are the two standouts going to set a precedent that will endanger the league, even after the Korean Basketball League announced on Wednesday that it is relaxing its rules for imports and effectively turning itself as another rosy destination for foreign players.
“There will not be another Kiefer case. Perhaps [it will apply to] the prospects [from the] collegiate ranks,” he said. “You will have to finish your contract [with the PBA] first.”
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