PBA looking at all options to continue Governors’ Cup–including all-Filipino finish
If push does indeed come to shove, the PBA will do everything to salvage what is left of its Governors’ Cup and that includes sending the imports home and making the remainder of the conference all-Filipino.
The course of truly last resort would be canceling it altogether.
“We are willing to exert every effort, every option, to make sure that we see an end to the conference,” commissioner Willie Marcial told the Inquirer over the phone on Tuesday. “Shutting down the tournament permanently would mean that there’s nothing we can do about it anymore.
“But the way we see it, there are still ways for us to continue.”
Marcial will meet with representatives of team owners either on Monday or Tuesday next week for them to plot the direction of the Governors’ Cup even as the tournament already got a green light from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), the regulatory body of professional sports, to continue under a home-venue-home setup.
The meeting was called by chair Ricky Vargas, the TNT representative.
“That was good news for us,” Marcial said. “That’s why we will meet next week to discuss how we can go about the rest of the conference taking into account the GAB thumbs-up.”
Games haven’t been played since Dec. 26, when fans started seeing the games live again, and it was officially shuttered on Jan. 3 after COVID-19 cases started to spiral upwards.
Marcial is very much aware of the additional costs the teams have been incurring with imports in their respective care, and making them go home because of a continued postponement remains a viable option for the league to keep thinking of saving the rest of the conference.
“That will be discussed,” he said. “As well as the salaries of the local players who continue to get paid in full despite the postponement.”
Bubble is possible
Marcial remains thankful to the team owners who have thrown their full support despite the postponement.
With alert level 3 hovering over the Metro, reopening is possible only under a full bubble setup, like what the PBA did with its Philippine Cup in 2020.
But that would be an expensive project to undertake again, with the league spending an estimated P65 million in Pampanga for just one conference that ran for just close to two months.
Marcial said that a semibubble setup outside of Metro Manila, like how the PH Cup was played last year, is also an option.
For the meantime, it’s still standard operating procedure for all of the teams, which remain prohibited from doing scrimmages and are only limited to practicing in small clusters composed of seven persons, namely four players, a coach, safety officer and utility.
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