PBA To Open Governors Cup In Late November – Hope To Have Fans Back In Venues

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has moved the start of the second conference, the 2021 Governors’ Cup, to the last week of November in the hopes that spectators would be able to watch the games inside by then.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said the league is now targeting November 26 or 28 as the start of the next conference, pending approval from the Pasig City government, which owns the Ynares Sports Arena.

The PBA had hoped to have the second conference in mid-November. Still, it was postponed after the IATF and the Department of Foreign Affairs only just agreed to allow imports to supplement teams.

“May import tayo at target natin, either November 26 or 28 kapag acceptable na magsimula ang mga imports,” Marcial said after the league’s board of governors meeting on Friday.

According to Marcial, a formal request to the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force IATF) will be sent next week, and fans can watch the conference from within the venues.

“Tingnan natin ang Ynares, Metro Manila.” Mayor Vico (Sotto) of [Pasig City] kakausapin pa natin, tapos tingnan natin sa IATF, baka pwede man ang audience. “Kausapin naman natin ibang venues kapag puwede na,” Marcial remarked.

Since the ECQ on March 17, 2020, the PBA has not opened its games to the public. The last game with an audience was the PBA season opening on March 8, 2020, between Magnolia and San Miguel at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The IATF lowered the quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila to Alert Level 2 as COVID-19 cases continued to decline. This enables venues such as theaters, music venues, indoor & outdoor parks, and cinemas to reopen.

Meanwhile, Marcial said that teams can begin preparing for the Governors’ Cup if they have obtained permission from the local authorities where their training site is located.