Marcial: COVID-19 scare inside bubble ‘wake-up call’ for PBA

Luisa Morales ( – October 22, 2020 – 9:22am

MANILA, Philippines — The PBA was jolted on Wednesday following a “suspect case” of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) within their season bubble in Clark City, Pampanga.

Though possibly a false positive, the referee’s close encounter with the virus provided a stark reminder for the league: be vigilant and safe.

This was reiterrated by league commissioner Willie Marcial during a press conference hours after reports of the “suspect case”.

“Wake-up call sa atin ito na wag tayong mag-relax,” said Marcial.

“Nasa bubble tayo pero ganun pa rin, yung protocols, mask, shield, alcohol, malinis sa katawan. Talagang kailangan mag-ingat,” he added.

The league continued on with games scheduled on Wednesday despite the initial positive test.

While the official was brought to the Athletes Village in Capas, Tarlac for an antigen test which came out negative.

This brought up the possibility of the case being a “false negative”. Marcial also conceded that the referee catching the virus within the bubble was unlikely.

“300 plus yung tinest, negative, siya lang yung positive. Kahit yung mga doktor, nagtataka,” said Marcial.

“Malaking bagay sa amin yung sinabing false positive,” he added of the league’s morale following Wednesday’s events.

The referee has already undergone another swab test, this time in Capas, if it comes out as negative, the initial positive test will officially be considered a false positive.

Games continue today at the PBA bubble in Pampanga with the still undefaeted TnT Tropang Giga going up against the Blackwater Elite and the Alaska Aces clashing with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 4 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., respectively.

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