PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the league is determined to finish the elimination round of the 2021 Philippine Cup in Pampanga even if Metro Manila will be classified again into General Community Quarantine (GCQ) while the conference is ongoing.

/ 30 August 2021

Marcial mentioned that the league will definitely return to Metro Manila once the prime venue eased its restrictions but only after they finish a phase of the tournament may it be the eliminations, quarterfinals, semifinals, or in the finals.

The PBA can’t instantly move back from one venue to another due to logistics such as the set-up of equipment by the league and broadcast partner which will take more time.

Kung okay na sa Manila, balik tayo sa Manila or kung okay na (example) sa finals, balik tayo. Pero kailangan bigyan natin ng ample time para mag-setup uli. Tapusin natin ‘yung phase by phase,” said Marcial in an interview with The Chasedown on Cignal TV.

’Yun ang plano. Babalik sa NCR kapag okay na talaga sa NCR,” said Marcial.

The PBA is eyeing to kick off on September 1 since the new venue, the Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU) Gym in Bacolor is now ready for the resumption of the conference.

The PBA has recently received approval from Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda and DHVSU administrators led by the university president, Dr. Enrique G. Bakingto, to hold its practices and games in the province.

Pampanga is under MGCQ.

The local government of Pampanga and the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) are closely overseeing the activities of all participating teams from their training facilities to their accommodations.

Limang venues na hiwa-hiwalay,” said Marcial, who added the delegation are scattered in Angeles University Foundation in Angeles City; the Beverly Place in Mexico; and Colegio De Sebastian in San Fernando, Bacolor, and Clark.

May hotels, may villas, may resort, pero hindi ka pa rin puwedeng lumabas dahil iniikutan tayo. Alam ng provincial government at ng CDC ang galaw ng mga teams. May mga CCTV, may mga reports sa atin.”

However, the planned reopening of the tournament will still depend on different scenarios such as the result of the COVID-19 testing of the players scheduled on August 30, Monday.

The PBA will release its weekly playing schedule every Tuesday.

“September 1 or 3, during those days, magsisimula na tayo. Siyempre, hintayin natin ‘yung testing sa Monday. Makikita natin doon kung okay ba lahat, okay ba ang mga teams, saka tayo maglalabas ng schedules,” said Marcial.