NLEX, rest of PBA facing two-front battle in All-Filipino Cup resumption

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Games on the court may not even be the biggest challenge during the ongoing 2021 PBA Philippine Cup being played in a semi-bubble set-up.

Staying safe from COVID-19 being in a bubble set-up amid a pandemic is also one of the top concerns for NLEX and the rest of the league as the country battles record-high cases.

“There are battles on two fronts, the competition itself on the court and the battle against the virus and being strict with the protocols,” said Road Warriors’ coach Yeng Guiao after their 84-74 win over Alaska at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga Thursday.

“Even if we’re in a bubble set up it’s still hard.”

While more than 90 percent of the PBA players and staff are already vaccinated, Guiao said the league can’t always be too relaxed.

The teams play in one venue in Bacolor but they stay across several hotels in Pampanga, a somewhat different setup from the 2020 Philippine Cup where they were housed in just one facility.

RT-PCR and Antigen tests are still administered regularly to monitor everyone inside the PBA bubble, Guiao said.

“Just staying negative is already a struggle because you don’t know when you might test positive even if you’re in a bubble set-up,” said Guiao.

The games were put on hold for a month after COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila rose forcing the league to move from playing the matches at Ynares Arena in Pasig to Pampanga.


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