PBA Governors' Cup go now up to LGUs; Phoenix tries to secure Banchero extension | Inquirer Sports

PBA Governors’ Cup go now up to LGUs; Phoenix tries to secure Banchero extension

/ 05:01 AM January 30, 2022
Chris Newsome and the Bolts will be looking for a roll again

FILE– Chris Newsome and Meralco Bolts during the 2021-2022 PBA Governors’ Cup. PBA IMAGES

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) could learn by Monday when it can finally resume its Governors’ Cup, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said on Saturday.

“We’ve already given the local governments a hard copy of our request last Thursday, so we are hoping that we are able to know more about the status of our bid by Monday the earliest,” the league chief told the Inquirer.


The PBA has been frozen by the latest uptick in new COVID-19 cases for almost a month now. But with a dip projected by pandemic monitors around next month, the league—armed with an endorsement from the Games and Amusements Board—began pursuing clearances to reopen its season-ending tournament early next month.

This has been the third stoppage that the PBA has dealt with during the pandemic era. But this one, in particular, is shaping up to be less complicated for the pro league, which could tab a milestone by finishing two seasons at a time when restrictions and disruptions are aplenty. A total of 26 matches have been played since the latest conference opened in Dec. 8. The league was even able to welcome fans to its games just in time for the holidays, staging a Christmas Day showdown for the first time in three years.


But immediately after the holiday break, a surge in COVID-19 infections triggered by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus paused the tournament. The PBA went as far as mulling on sending foreign reinforcements home to avert a financial drain among teams in the event that the stoppage dragged on.


Phoenix guard Chris Banchero

Phoenix guard Chris Banchero. PBA IMAGES

In related league news, all eyes are on Phoenix this week as the Fuel Masters enter a crucial phase in its attempt to lock down Chris Banchero to a new contract.

The star playmaker’s current deal is due to expire by the end of the month.

Banchero is part of the pioneering 2014 Rookie Draft class, which is piloting the PBA’s first-ever unrestricted free agency, where players could truly choose their destination as soon as their contracts with their respective team lapse.

The Phoenix camp has been mum on the negotiations, with team manager Paolo Bugia only telling the Inquirer in a previous interview that they have opened discussions with the resurgent guard.

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TAGS: PBA, PBA Governor's Cup, Willie Marcial
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