MANILA, Philippines – Gone are the muses and parades of an opening ceremony, as the PBA’s 46th season kicks off with a simple but busy event to raise the curtain.
League Commissioner Willie Marcial said Friday that the first game of the season on July 16 will feature three games with an opening ceremony kicking off proceedings at 11 a.m. at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The triple headers will be the basic schedule for the games, which will be played on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, for one month until the 3 × 3 tournament begins.
“We are ready, I have spoken with Mayor Vico [Sotto] and it allowed us to play in Ynares, ”Marcial said in Filipino during a virtual press conference. “I will meet personally with him next week and he knows how important basketball is to the Filipinos.”
The full schedule is due to be released, Marcial said.
As the COVID-19 pandemic still continues, no fan attendance will be allowed and the minimum number of people will be allowed inside the playing venue, as the league employs a closed-loop configuration for its games.
Players, coaches and staff will also be administered RT-PCR tests three days before the opening and the PBA mandated a 10-day testing cycle throughout the season.
Although 95 percent of its players and staff are vaccinated, the PBA still established a strict quarantine protocol in the event of a person testing positive for COVID-19.
Marcial said that the infected player’s team and his last opponent would be quarantined.
“Unlike the NBA, which only quarantined the infected player, what we will do is quarantine the two teams and everyone who belongs to those clubs,” said Marcial.
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