The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will come up with various safety measures following the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said they are putting premium on the health and safety of their players, coaches and thousands of spectators so they are planning to impose some safety precautions when they open their 45th season on 8 March.
Marcial said guards will be stationed at the entrance of the Mall of Asia Arena and Smart Araneta Coliseum to make thermal scanning of the spectators, who are going inside and outside.
Those who will be found out to be nursing high fever will be denied entry and their tickets would be refunded.
They will also put hand sanitizers and soaps in the comfort rooms and encourage everybody to wash their hands every so often.
“We reserve the right to deny entry to those who have high fever. We will refund their tickets,” Marcial said.
“We already talked to our venues and they agreed with this setup.”
The opening of the Philippine Cup was supposed to be held on 1 March, but with the outbreak of the deadly pulmonary disease, the league was forced to move it to 8 March.
Other leagues followed suit with the National Collegiate Athletic Association suspending its senior volleyball tournament while the University Athletic Association of the Philippines also cancelled its opening.
The Philippine Sports Commission also made it clear that it had already scrapped some of its grassroots sports programs as it prioritizes the health and safety of its athletes.
“We have to do our part in fighting the spread of the virus,” Marcial said, adding that the PBA annual press conference is set on 25 February while the fans and media day is set on 27 February.
“We’re ready for our new season. Everything is set as far as the opening of the Philippine Cup is concerned.”