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PBA seeks NCR return



The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is looking to stage the latter part of the Philippine Cup in the National Capital Region (NCR) following the decline of Covid-19 cases in the metro.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial yesterday said they will bring back the games back to their original venue at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City should NCR shifts to a relaxed quarantine status.

For now, the quarterfinals will be held at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga, but the league is hoping that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will downgrade the quarantine status in time for the semifinals.

So far, indoor games are not yet allowed within the metro as it remains under general community quarantine (GCQ) with Alert Level 4 until 30 September.

“Hopefully, we can stage our semifinals in Manila. That’s the best situation that we are looking at so far,” Marcial said.

The Department of Health recently reported a downward trend of Covid-19 cases in the country, registering 15,211 cases on Tuesday, 16,361 on Wednesday and 17,411 on Thursday.

The reports were slightly lower compared to the record-high 20,000 average daily cases tallied two weeks ago.

The PBA held its first 26 matches in Pasig City since 16 July under a closed-circuit setting.

But with the sudden surge of Covid-19 cases in August, the league was forced to relocate in Pampanga, which has been under a much-lenient GCQ setting.

Marcial said they are now just waiting for the government’s announcement before the league discusses matters with the Pasig City government and Metro Manila Development Authority for their final decision on the remaining playoff games.

“We’re waiting for their announcement. We’re hoping that it will favor us, of course,” Marcial said.

“If everything goes well, then we will immediately talk with Pasig and MMDA. We still need to talk things through.”