PBA Set to Welcome Full Capacity

March 15, 2022

by Arbe Jay Polancos

Since the start of the pandemic, all sports (indoor, outdoor, contact, and extreme) activities have been halted, if not limited. There was even a time when all official and legal games were not allowed (except for a few illegal ones in barangays and places where the IATF cannot penetrate). The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), since it is the Philippines’ basketball authority, has been struggling to come back because of the roller-coaster rise and fall of COVID cases in the country. This was bad news then, but just this month of March 2022, the league has welcomed fans and audiences in their stadiums to full capacity.

Full capacity means all seats in the live games of the league can be occupied by basketball fans, like how it used to before the pandemic. However, this does not mean that health protocols are compromised because everybody from fans, league staff, referees, security personnel, the players, and anybody who is inside the venue are required from wearing masks and as much as possible, keep a comfortable and safe distance from people. Also, an important requirement is that if you are a fan, then you have to be vaccinated first and that you have to present your vaccination card accompanied with a valid government identification card, according to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial. This will go on from March 1-15, 2022. If everything goes well and the league is not threatened, hopefully it will continue.

As a fan, it is still your prerogative if you would watch the games live in various stadiums, coliseums, and/or arenas or just inside your houses where you are safe from the virus, either facing a smartphone, a laptop computer, or a smart TV. Just because the league is welcoming you back do not mean that you really should go. If you miss the thrilling experience inside the venue but you are afraid of going out due to the threat of the virus, you can always come back when everything is okay.

The reason for the decision of going back to full capacity was because of the shift of Metro Manila from Alert level 2 (which only made the league cater only 50% of the usual number of people) to Alert level 1 which is now more open and lenient towards the viewing public. This shift lifts the restrictions, like in most establishments, the total fan capacity. The league is expecting at least 18,000 fans and basketball enthusiasts to flood the empty seats of the venues.

As they start the welcoming of full capacity, the SMART Araneta Coliseum couldn’t be the most perfect venue for the comeback of the year, as far as come backs go, since during the Alert level 2, only less than half of the expected 18,000 fans are around due to limited seating capacity.

As a fan, it is still your prerogative if you would watch the games live in various stadiums, coliseums, and/or arenas or just inside your houses where you are safe from the virus, either facing a smartphone, a laptop computer, or a smart TV. Just because the league is welcoming you back do not mean that you really should go. If you miss the thrilling experience inside the venue but you are afraid of going out due to the threat of the virus, you can always come back when everything is okay.

The Governor’s Cup is still on-going and the PBA is stronger than ever, expecting fans to come back and cheer for their respective teams. Currently, the Magnolia Hotshots lead the league as the top team.