By Gab Ferreras, contributing writer
PBA fans cannot wait any longer to see their favorite cage superstars back in action as the league will formally resume its Philippine Cup action, 6 days from now in a semi-bubble setup in Pampanga.
League commissioner Willie Marcial, in his second appearance on TOPS Usapang Sports On Air virtual forum, organized by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports and aired via Sports on Air's social medaia accounts, shared the updates on the resumption of the elimination round of the Philippine Cup, after taking a timeout for a few weeks due to the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila, particularly in Pasig were the PBA games staged since July.
The PBA will hold its games at the Don Honorio Ventura State University on September 1.
"Noong last Monday, nagbigay na ng go signal si Gov. Pineda na makapagpractice at mag-official game tayo. Kahapon po, ka-meeting ko po yung Don Honorio Ventura State University management committee at nandoon din si Cong. Dong Gonzales na in principle, okay na tayo, hinihintay po natin ang signatures ng mga board of trustees within a couple of days. Siguro bago po mag-September, magkapirmahan kami ng MOA pero go na po. Pinapayagan po tayo na mag-setup po sa eskwelahan sa Bacolor, Pampanga tayo magaganap.", Marcial said.
All 12 teams arrived in Pampanga last Monday after a series of COVID-19 tests, and began their practices the following day. Marcial also revealed the health & safety protocols that will be implemented during the semi-bubble.
"Bawal po pa rin lumabas sa hotel ang mga players, andoon po sila sa mga hotels at sa mga villas... ang testing po namin dati 14 days, ngayon po every 7 days, RT-PCR po at bago po mag-game ang team, kung maglalaro ka ngayong araw na ito, magpapatest tayo ng antigen bago magsimula.", Marcial added.
In addition, the PBA will have scheduled tripleheader and doubleheader games, five times a week from Wednesday to Sunday, with Monday and Tuesday reserved for COVID-19 testing and results processing.
"At kung walang aberya, matatapos tayo ng October 19 sa elimination. After elimination, playoffs. Kung papalarin po tayo siguro mga 1st or 2nd week of November, tapos na po ang first conference. Pag naging successful po, may another conference pa ulit na matatapos by February or March 2022, kung papalarin po.", Marcial disclosed.