MANILA, Philippines, April 7 ------ The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) may resume its activities by June if the COVID-19 situation in the country improves, according to league commissioner Willie Marcial.
Speaking to the league website, Marcial said he along with the Board of Governors are set to discuss their next steps in an online meeting this week. "Ang nakikita kong pinakamaagang balik ng PBA ay June," said Marcial. "Kasi, even if the country is able to flatten the COVID-19 curve in April or May, I have to give our teams a month of practices before we resume play."
The board will study the situation in a video conference called by chairman Ricky Vargas, he added, before deciding on what to do next. However, Marcial acknowledged that they will likely make some drastic changes regarding the league calendar. The PBA officially opened its season on March 8, but suspended all activities just four days later due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Marcial also ordered teams to stop practices, amid the enhanced community quarantine put in place throughout Luzon.
The commissioner acknowledged that a shortened season is possible, with the league reducing it to just two conferences. The PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup may also end up being cancelled. "Hindi natin alam kung gaano katagal ito," Marcial said. "Sana matapos na, at mawala na ang health threat. Pero hindi pa rin tayo makakabalik agad-agad." Marcial had previously said that the league's 45th season may stretch until March 2021.