‘No deadline for latecomers’ says PBA board

PBA Board of Governors has approved the proposal of waiving the deadline to allow latecomers to enter the bubble mounted in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

/ 7 October 2020

Initially, the board imposed a rule for players to be given until October 10, 11:59 pm to arrive in Pampanga before its door closes. Noncompliance with the deadline will prohibit them from joining the bubble.

The approved motion was to allow entry of players included in the 25-man lineup even after the season resumption tipped off according to Deputy Commissioner Eric Castro in an online conference with the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) on Tuesday.

“Our governors recently approved a new rule that imposes no deadline for late newcomers. So any member of their team’s 25-man lineup can get in even if the season is ongoing,” he said.

Among the common valid reasons for the late entry of the players were due to injury recovery.

Meralco’s big man Raymond Almazan arrived at the bubble last Sunday after completing his rehab for his knee injury. Phoenix forwards JC Intal and Jorey Napoles came in the same day who both recovered from injuries as well.

Late newcomers also include Blackwater rookie Maurice Shaw and NLEX Road Warriors JR Quinahan, Jericho Cruz, Michael Miranda, Kenneth Ighalo, Anthony Semerad, and Mike Ayonayon.

Barangay Ginebra stars Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio were the last players the deputy commissioner is expecting to arrive at the bubble. 

Following the health protocols, players will undergo PCR testing and a 24-hour quarantine. Once results came negative, they can join the team practices.

Castro admitted during the online conference that player entry has become a challenge for Asia’s pioneering pro league.

“To be straightforward, ‘yung pagpasok ng players, very challenging. Kasi aside doon sa mga scheduled teams who will enter on a specific date, ito nga, may mga latecomers,” Castro shared. 

“So the coordination and all, the testing, ito nga ‘yung waiting period. Syempre lahat ng mga latecomers, they want to know right away ‘yung results nila for them to join practices—not just the players themselves, syempre ‘yung coaches nito, managers nito. It’s understandable.” he added.

Five days before the restart of the Philippine Cup, the league officially released the schedule for the opening game on October 11.

Doubleheader games will kick off on Sunday featuring TNT against Alaska and followed by Barangay Ginebra and NLEX.