PBA postpones season due to coronavirus outbreak

MANILA, Philippines, March 11 ------ The PBA has decided to postpone its days-old season "until further notice" as precautionary measure as the number of novel coronavirus cases in the country continues to spike. PBA commissioner Willie Marcial convened with the board of governors in a special board meeting on Tuesday, March 10, and arrived at the decision to cancel the season starting Wednesday, March 11.

In a statement, the PBA said "it is our paramount duty and responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our fans, players, teams, officials, and staff." Also postponed are the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup games and the PBA 3x3 inaugurals. The development came after several sports leagues in the country postponed their activities due to the virus outbreak. Earlier this week, the UAAP has suspended all Season 82 games until March 17, while the NCAA is mulling an outright termination of Season 95. The Palarong Pambansa, the annual multi-sport event for elementary and high school student-athletes that was supposed to be hosted by Marikina City from May 1 to 9, has also been postponed.

Phoenix was set to face TNT and NLEX was scheduled to play NorthPort at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday but those games have been shelved. This is the second time the PBA had to postpone the 45th season after pushing back the opening ceremonies from March 1 to March 8. Although the opening ceremonies went off as planned last Sunday, virus fears heightened as the Philippines' confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 33. Following the postponement, the PBA said it will assess the effects of the virus on a "day-to-day basis" and will "remain committed to conduct its games and activities in a safe and responsible manner for all its stakeholders." The worldwide death toll for the virus has exceeded 4,000, while more than 110,000 people have been infected in over 100 countries.

Source: rappler.com/sports