PBA decides on play restart method, format
Ricky Vargas
STAR/ File
PBA decides on play restart method, format
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - September 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — What’s in store for the PBA for the rest of the pandemic-hit year?

This the board of governor hopes to answer as it sits down today to decide on matters pertaining to the pro league’s planned bubble tournament restart.

The PBA governors led by chairman Ricky Vargas of TNT KaTropa deliberate on the different options commissioner Willie Marcial had previously presented for the Philippine Cup bubble eyed for an Oct. 9 kickoff.

“We’ll have further discussions on one: what kind of bubble; two: where; and three: what’s the format,” Marcial said.

The PBA is considering the NBA-style bubble (everyone’s in one place); the semi-bubble (hotel-venue-hotel); and the closed circuit method the teams are currently observing for their training sessions (home-venue-home).

Twenty hotels from Metro Manila to as far as Clark and Palawan and even Dubai have offered their services as hub for the bubble.

The Smart Araneta Coliseum looms as a strong bet with its nearby hotels and facilities. The Pampanga government led by Gov. Dennis Pineda, meanwhile, is pushing for the Clark Freeport Zone, which it claimed has enough facilities to accommodate the PBA delegation.

Marcial said the board will be considering several factors in choosing the venue.

“First is protection – if it’s possible to have the hotel all to ourselves with no other guests or at least a wing exclusive to us with a dedicated elevator,” he said.

“Then if there are recreational facilities for the mental health of the players and practice courts. We’ll also consider transportation arrangements, depending on the category of our bubble, and cost,” he added.

The PBA’s planned two-month bubble tournament is largely dependent on government approval.

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