PBA bubble costs P65 million
PBA chairman Ricky Vargas of TNT KaTropa himself bared the cost of the ambitious project, which he stressed is the pro league’s way of giving back to the fans.
STAR/File
PBA bubble costs P65 million
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2020 - 12:00am

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MANILA, Philippines — The PBA is shelling out a whopping P65 million for its planned bubble in Clark.

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas of TNT KaTropa himself bared the cost of the ambitious project, which he stressed is the pro league’s way of giving back to the fans.

“It will cost close to P65 million and the biggest chunk will be on team accommodation and food,” Vargas said in the Power & Play program on Radyo Singko and One Sports.

Under the plan, the 350-man strong PBA delegation will live in isolation at Clark’s Quest Hotel for the two-month tournament set at nearby Angeles University Foundation.

According to Vargas, the PBA actually managed to get discounts on the venues and secure free testing procedures through Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and CEO Vince Dizon and Clark Development Corp. president Noel Manankil.

The PBA chair said every stakeholder feels the costly bubble is worth it.

“Even if we have to spend for it, take some money from our equity and get lower share, all the team owners, all the governors are saying it’s about time we give back to our fans, who will need it, appreciate it the most when we bring back the PBA,” said Vargas.

“That’s what’s in it for us and what motivated us. This is a sport the whole country loves and bringing it back on the air is a win, not only from an entertainment value but for mental health and opening the economy, (showing) that there’s hope,” he added.

The PBA is hoping to get IATF clearance to resume with the Philippine Cup by Oct. 9.

“We submitted a request for the bubble last Friday,” said Vargas, hoping both the pending request for scrimmages and the newly-filed Clark bubble will both get approval.

He said he’s confident the IATF will act favorably on the requests, which are also being backed by Dizon and Manankil of Clark, Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra and Sen. Bong Go.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” said Vargas. “At the end of the day, we need to follow all the IATF and DOH protocols and we will do that and we will patiently wait for their approval.”

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