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Why low attendance numbers aren’t worrying PBA commish Willie Marcial yet

Willie Marcial has received early favorable reviews for some of the developments that have occurred in the PBA since being named interim and subsequently full-time league commissioner.

Marcial has gotten the thumbs up from many players, coaches and fans for relaxing referees’ control over physical play and allowing more contact in games.

His project characterized as a community meet-and-greet with players has been welcomed as a chance for barangays to mingle with their basketball idols, an initiative that Marcial said has never been done before.

Willie Marcial is the 10th commissioner of the PBA, the oldest professional basketball league in Asia. PBA Media Bureau
Under his term, the PBA board scrapped the “1 veteran, 1 cadet per team” rule for Gilas Pilipinas participation, opening up more options for the national team and, therefore, strengthening it.

With Marcial attracting positive vibes this early in his tenure, one aspect of the league that will require his magic touch is the sagging attendance at arenas.

ABS-CBN News doesn’t have the official numbers, but an eye test of the crowd at the venues in many games shows empty seats vastly outnumbering occupied ones.

Addressing the fan turnout in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup, Marcial told ABS-CBN News it isn’t time to push the “panic button” yet, explaining that elimination-round games don’t tend to draw in spectators.

Author: Dominic Menor, ABS-CBN News
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