PBA hopes to finish Philippine Cup by early December

The PBA is hoping to finish a planned two-month 2020 season restart by December 10 to 13, commissioner Willie Marcial said.

In a Tuesday appearance on Sports Page, Marcial said the league is bent on closing games and returning players, coaches and personnel back to their families just before the holidays kick in.

"Two months, tapos 'yon," he said. "Pinaka-latest ay December 10 or 13. 'Yung pinaka-last day na sagad."

Marcial and the Board of Governors are also mulling a number of options in terms of the number of games that will be played per week during that timeline. But once the playoffs begin, matches will be held only on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

"Meron kaming seven times a week ang games, may six times a week, may five times a week. Meron doong araw-araw double-header, araw-araw triple-header o kaya combination," he said.

"Ang elimination, tapos na tayo ng isang buwan. 'Yung quarterfinals mga four or five days. Tapos best-of-five at best-of-seven [ang semifinals at finals]. Hindi naman maco-cover araw-araw 'yon so 'yung iba sa One Sports, sa PBA Rush, sa live streaming."

Resuming the suspended season around October 9 is still the most optimal scenario for the league, but Marcial said it still depends on whether or not the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will approve their requests.

Last Monday, Marcial wrote to the task force about the possibility of allowing teams to hold inter-team scrimmages by September 16.

"Nagbigay tayo ng letter last Monday sa task force, siguro by this week tatanungin ko na or titingnan natin kung ano 'yung resulta sa letter natin, kung pinayagan tayo sa scrimamages. Pagkatapos ng scrimmages, susulat na ko na kung pwede na magsimula ng first week, October 9 or before October 9, ng games natin," he said.

"Kailangan ko talaga muna na payagan tayo ng government. Sana payagan tayo."

'Bubble' decisions

Marcial will meet with the board this Thursday to finally decide on where to hold the planned bubble tournament.

"By Thursday, malalaman ko na kung saan tayo, kung anong klaseng bubble, kung anong klaseng format. So malaking bagay na 'yun," he said.

Only three of 20 interested parties who submitted their proposals made the shortlist. Four of the 20 -- Marriott Manila in Pasay, Pontefino Hotel in Batangas, Lio Tourism Estate in Palawan and Clark, Pampanga -- made their presentations last week.

Main factors considered by the league's head honchos are the protection of players, cost, transportation, the type of bubble that could be set up in a given area, and transportation. Mental health considerations, as well as the facilities to be used, are also set to be included in the decision-making, Marcial added.

"Kung pwede, tayo lang din 'yung nasa hotel kasi walang ibang pwedeng sumama," said Marcial. "May isang nag-present sa loob ng ballroom nila, dalawang court - isang main court at practice court. Meron pa ngang half court for shooting. Meron ding nag-present sa convention center, meron din sa mga tents. Ang daming proposal."

Marcial said swab tests will be conducted every 14 days. There will also be no limitations on senior citizen coaches, officials and personnel in the bubble.

"Basta nagpa-test kayo at negative, meron kayong certificate ng doctor na pwede kayong pumunta sa ating bubble, walang problema," he said.