The Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) has decided to briefly suspend the games of the Philippine Cup bubble starting Friday, October 30, as ordered by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) on COVID-19.
In a statement, the PBA said: “In compliance with the recommendation of the IATF-EID Technical Working Group and the DOH Advisory Group of Experts and to ensure the integrity and safety of the PBA bubble, the league is postponing the games starting today, October 30, until the new protocols proposed by the IATF and DOH are out in place.”
“The PBA would like to thank the IATF, DOH, and Clark Development Corporation (CDC) for their continuous support and guidance,” the league added.
The PBA was supposed to stage the games between NorthPort BatangPier and Magnolia Hotshots at 4 PM and Barangay Ginebra against defending San Miguel Beer at 6:45 PM inside the league bubble in the Angeles University Foundation gym (powered by Smart 5G).
Team practices have been put on hold, too, although the use of amenities inside the Quest Hotel such as the pool, gym, and the jogging area remain open for use by all teams.
Despite strict health protocols inside the bubble located in Clark, Pampanga, the PBA has recorded a total of two confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks.
Last Sunday, a Blackwater player was extracted from the bubble and transferred to the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City after testing positive for COVID-19. The player’s positive test came three days after a referee was tagged as a suspected positive case. This affected the PBA’s schedule, particularly games involving Blackwater Elite. They were later declared free of the virus after succeeding tests.
As of the time of writing, the TNT Tropang Giga, despite NLEX’s stoppage of their five-game winning streak on their last match, remains at the top of the team standings with a 5-1 win-loss card. Followed by quarterfinals berth seeking Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (4-1), Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (4-2), San Miguel Beermen (4-2), Alaska Aces (5-3), Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (4-3), Meralco Bolts (3-3), and the Blackwater Elite (2-3).
Meanwhile, Magnolia Hotshots (2-4), NLEX Road Warriors (2-5), NorthPort Batang Pier (1-4), and the Terrafirma Dyip (0-5) has been so far struggling in the tourney and can’t seem to find consistency in their previous matches in the PBA bubble.