With neighbor leagues cancelled or still suspended, what's next for the PBA after COVID-19?

Paul Kennedy Lintag on Mar 30, 2020 12:14 PM
What's next for the PBA after COVID-19?
The 2020 PBA Philippine Cup only managed one game before the COVID-19 outbreak ultimately forced the league to suspend operations.

When April comes this Wednesday, the PBA would have been suspended for exactly three weeks.

[Related: PBA games on hold due to coronavirus outbreak]

The 2020 PBA Philippine Cup only managed one game before the COVID-19 outbreak ultimately forced the league to suspend operations.

Everything is shut down until further notice, including all team activities.

[Related: PBA extends team practice ban "until further notice"]

Other professional leagues in the region likewise faced the initial predicament as the PBA has now with the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Japanese B.League suspended operations, came back briefly, and ultimately cancelled its whole season last week.

They were wrapping up the regular season and were on their way to the playoffs.

As a result, all division leaders technically won their respective division titles. Alvark Tokyo, the reigning two-time champions, ended up with the best overall record by only half a game though no overall champion was crowned.

In South Korea, the KBL also terminated its season, ending the year early for the first time in league history per Jumpball Korea.

The KBL kept its current rankings, with the Wonju DB Promy and Seoul SK Knights, Finals protagonists two seasons ago but out of the playoffs last year, being officially recorded as the top teams by virtue of their current regular season records.

In China, the CBA is also suspended but is planning a restart.

The original plan was to resume on April 15 after already 11 weeks of suspension. However, that plan has been pushed back until May as the league seeks goverment approval according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

Much like the CBA, the PBA has all the plans to resume the current 45th season once COVID-19 has been managed.

The league can't exacty follow the path of the KBL and the B.League as it only played one game for the new season.

The season could last well into the second quarter of next year depending on how things go with the community quarantine as the PBA still has pretty much the whole of its three-conference schedule coming up.

The PBA can go the route of having closed-door games when the season resumes. The B.League held games without an audience when it came back briefly following its initial suspension.

"Siguro dati magtatapos tayo ng Feb., [ngayon] magtatapos tayo ng March, April. Depende nga sa sitwasyon natin dito sa coronavirus," PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said when the league first suspended operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Paga-aralan natin kung anong nangyayari sa COVID-19. Kung paayos naman, siguro dahan-dahanin natin baka pwedeng mag-closed door muna. Pag lumala, mapapatagal din tayo. Ito naman ay para sa ating lahat," the Commissioner added.

In the Department of Health's latest tally accurate as of March 29, 2020, the Philippines has 1,418 confirmed cases of COVID-19.



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