With the province of Batangas placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with Heightened Restrictions starting August 6, 2021, the Philippine Basketball Association has shifted its sights to Pampanga for the resumption of the 2021 Philippine Cup.
The development came after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Thursday allowed the league to proceed with its games provided that the venue is in an area under regular GCQ or the more relaxed modified GCQ (MGCQ).
“Should the community quarantine classification of their proposed new venue be escalated to a community quarantine classification higher than GCQ, the PBA should look for another venue that is under GCQ or MGCQ,” said the IATF in its Resolution No. 131.
Batangas emerged as the most logical choice after the national government announced the reclassification of the National Capital Region from GCQ with HR to ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) from August 6 to 20 since majority of the teams held practices there prior to the opening of the league’s 46th season.
The league was able to secure a special permit from the MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) which allowed it to proceed with the conference even after the NCR was placed under the stricter GCQ with HR. Unfortunately, the permit only covered Metro Manila.
With Batangas ruled out, the league is now looking at areas under MGCQ with Pampanga as the leading candidate having served as host of the 2020 Philippine Cup. Unlike the previous season which was played in a full-bubble format, however, a semi-bubble setup is being considered this time around.