Blackwater player negative for COVID-19 after further tests

The PBA announced on Monday that the Blackwater Elite player who was suspected of contracting COVID-19 produced a negative RT-PCR test.

This comes after his antigen test conducted on Sunday also tested negative as part of the league's confirmatory testing.

The quarantined player will stay inside the Athlete's Village at New Clark City for at least eight more days in order to satisfy the requirements of the Dept. of Health. Once he returns to the bubble, he will undergo bubble re-entry protocol, which means additional swab tests.

"The PBA bubble remains intact, and has not been breached," assured the league in a statement. "Nevertheless, we urge all participants to be extra cautious and strictly follow the protocols set for them inside the bubble."

The Elite player is the second individual inside to have initially tested positive, only to test negative in subsequent tests. According to PBA medical consultant Dr. George Canlas during a press conference Sunday, they will not consider cases similar to this as having the SARS-CoV-2 virus present inside their bodies.

"To dispel the myth, the referee did not test positive. He was negative the whole time. What was done to the referee, the same [protocols] will be done to the player."

Blackwater coach Nash Racela was relieved to hear about the negative results.

"We are happy that the confirmatory test yielded a negative result and that gives us a signal to move forward. Not an easy week for us having to prepare for games and worrying about our health both physically and mentally," said Racela.

ESPN5's Richard Dy contributed to this report.