By Jonas Terrado

The PBA announced on Monday that it has rescheduled the opening of the league’s 45th season due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

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Commissioner Willie Marcial said the PBA opener will be moved from March 1 to March 8, still at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, as a way to support the government’s measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Also rescheduled is the start of the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup which will now be held on March 2 at the Paco Arena instead of this Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

“It’s a preventive measure against nCov. It’s now in place and will be implemented,” Marcial said in a statement released by the PBA Monday afternoon.

“The safety of our fans, teams, players and officials remain to be our utmost priority,” Marcial added.

Defending five-time Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer and Magnolia are still slated to face off in the opening salvo.

Also to be held is the Leo Awards which will hand out the past season’s individual winners, including the coveted Most Valuable Player.

Originally slated in the D-League are the match between Marinerong Pilipino and Karate Kid-Centro Escolar University followed by the game pitting Wangs-Letran and EcoOil-La Salle.

The PBA was the latest league to reschedule its games because of the nCov scare.

The ASEAN Basketball League had earlier postponed 15 games involving teams from Hong Kong and Macau after travel restrictions were implemented due to the virus.

The NCAA, on the other hand, postponed juniors division matches in all disciplines last week.

Despite the measures, organizers of the Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships announced that it will proceed with the tournament that will start Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Source: Manila Bulletin