With the ongoing global spread, and rising death toll, of the 2019 novel coronavirus it is rather understandable that certain facets of the worldwide economy as well as timetable of events are being upended one after another. With the travel lockdown in China, demand for oil has lessened, causing a rollback in prices but also risking petroleum exporters reducing their output. Quite the number of events to be held in that country have been postponed, moved or canceled. Even the Philippines, with its own nCoV cases, must adjust schedules to some of its events, like the start of basketball season.
CNN Philippines reports that the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has decided to put off the opening of its 2020 basketball season for a week at least from its original scheduled date next month. Rather than start on March 1, the first Sunday, the league is pushing it back on the second Sunday or March 8. The venue of Smart Aranete Coliseum however will not be changed. This postponement is in line with the PBA supporting current measures being proposed by the Department of Health (DOH) and the government regarding precautions to take while the novel coronavirus outbreak is still “hot.”
Such a degree of caution is increasingly warranted right now. Since early January when the country was still considered nCoV-free, entry by travellers from China has set off an infection spree that now sees 314 “patients under investigation” that are being monitored to see if they develop the respiratory ailments symptomatic of novel coronavirus infection. PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial stated on a post at the official league website this Monday, February 10, that they are considering the health and safety of teams, players, officials and fan audiences to be their topmost priority to protect from the ongoing novel coronavirus emergency.
Date change aside what will be scheduled to happen at the start of the 2020 basketball season for the PBA will also remain unchanged. Before the game proper, the league will present the latest edition of the Leo Awards to the top achieving players from the 2019 season. Then the Magnolia Hotshots and the San Miguel Beermen will be pitted in the first game of the Philippine Cup conference. Meanwhile, the PBA D-League has also gotten its season start moved, from Thursday this week, February 13, to March 2, but still at the Paco Arena.
Image courtesy of MSN