Mendoza: Options for PBA reopening

Al Mendoza
·2 min read

Will there be favoritism if our PBA players get to be vaccinated first before they are allowed to play in this year’s season?

It depends.

If they are green-lighted to jump the line, then that’s favoritism.

But there’s a caveat.

It becomes favoritism only if the vaccine is courtesy of the government.

That’d mean the PBA populace—players, coaches, managers and other personnel—are being given preferential treatment to the detriment of the public’s interest.

In the first place, the PBA is not generally known to be in the priority vaccine list of seniors and comorbidities, who are society’s co-equal in the upper echelon of vulnerable sectors to the pandemic.

Now, if the vaccines come as a PBA initiative—ordered privately with government intervention to overseas suppliers—then the favoritism issue completely becomes a non-issue. Kaput.

Isn’t that what PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and San Miguel Corp. athletic director Alfrancis Chua had discussed with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go?

“According to Senator Go, we can seek help from vaccine czar Carlito Galvez for the PBA to get an allocation,” said Marcial. “...they also said that if the private companies already have their vaccines, they can go ahead with inoculation...The companies have the right to choose who to vaccinate, anyway.”

SMC, among the first to order the vaccines, has had to deal with delays of jab arrivals. But Chua, Ginebra’s PBA governor, has a solution.

“Maybe, when the government’s supplies arrive, we could borrow from them,” Chua said. “We’d return them once our own supplies arrive.”

A sound idea. That’s what you call thinking out of the box.

In their Wednesday meeting, April 28, 2021, at the Palace, Medialdea and Go also made one condition before the PBA could open its 46th season: that Covid-19 cases drop.

That made sense. The league just cannot go on playing while huge numbers of fans are down with infections.

If the PBA hits its June target opening, there is time for two conferences in the next six months. Otherwise, be happy, again, with one conference to replicate 2020.

One good serving deserves another. Don’t be greedy.