MANILA, Philippines—The PBA has decided to withdraw from Dubai Expo 2020 as the league is still reeling from the effects of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
League commissioner Willie Marcial expressed his thanks to the organizers of the international trade show but admitted sending teams to Dubai amid the health crisis in the Philippines was an impossible task.
The 2021-22 Governors Cup was already reaching its halfway point when the government placed Metro Manila under Alert Level 3, effectively halting all contact sports in the region.
Kevin Brown, Vice President of Planning and Management, Expo 2020 Master Calendar of Events and Entertainment, extended the invitation to the PBA.
The games were originally scheduled for January 27-30 at Expo Sports Arena, while Dubai Expo 2020, a trade show featuring innovations and products from different countries, started on October 1, 2021 and runs until March 31, 2022.
Expo 2020 was also postponed to its current date after the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to postpone the international fair from its original schedule of October 20, 2020 to April 2021.
There was even a second invitation extended to the PBA for games at the end of March, but the PBA does not see fit to play in Dubai at that time.
The PBA is no stranger to Dubai, having held two 2019 Governor’s Cup games at the Coca-Cola Arena with NLEX, Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel.
Coca-Cola Arena was even considered as a potential bubble destination for the 2020 Philippine Cup, but the PBA scrapped the plan due to time constraints.
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