After the shocking news earlier in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) bubble, Commissioner Willie Marcial stated that what happened was a wake-up call to everyone.
News came out on Wednesday, October 21, that a PBA referee was a suspect for the coronavirus (Covid-19) as he had shown signs of the virus. However, things started to lighten up as the suspected case for Covid-19 is most likely a “false positive”.
Marcial addressed the media, stating that the everyone was left wondering on how the referee got infected as he explained that the game official was tested negative multiple times over.
“Before he came in the bubble, the referee tested negative twice and then after five days of self -solation, he was once again tested negative. So, we still don’t understand how he tested positive because out of all of his mates, he’s the only one who tested positive,” he said.
The referee tested negative in the antigen testing on Wednesday afternoon and will be tested again according to the joint statement of the PBA and the Clark Development Corp released earlier that day.
Although, there is a huge chance that this whole thing is just a case of “false positive”, Marcial reminded everyone that this is a huge wake-up call to everyone.
“I told this to the players, staff, referees, the people at the table. This is a wake-up call for us. It’s true that we are in a bubble but we still need to follow the protocols. Masks, face shield alcohol, disinfect your body, we still need to follow those,” he emphasized.
“This is definitely a wake-up call for us and just because we’re in a bubble already means that we should relax,” he added.
The league decided to temporarily prohibit anyone in the activities like jogging and swimming and the use of the gym but Marcial announced that they can do those things once again tomorrow.
Marcial stated that Sports Doctor George Canlas talked to the team and assure them of their safety as the league will still continue on despite the incident.
“It’s a big thing for us that there’s a chance for it to be a “false positive”. Doctor (George) Canlas talked to the teams and the team doctors and explained everything to give assurances to the players regarding their safety,” he said.
People who had first layer contact with the infected referee are currently under strict isolation and if the infected referee turned out to be a negative patient all along, he will still be on strict 14-day quarantine.
Marcial said that the teams who were officiated by the referee will still have to be on standby as the league officials will have a meeting with the Department of Health on whether they should be tested.
“We already talked to CDC and we will have a meeting with DOH on what is the right move for us, if we need to test them, we’ll do it right away,” he said.
The PBA will be back in action tomorrow with TNT Tropang Giga taking on the Blackwater Elite at 4:00 p.m. And then the Alaska Aces will be facing the Rain or Shine ElastoPainters at 6:45 p.m.