PBA receives Sports Tourism award

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The PBA will receive the Sports Tourism Tournament of the Year award for successfully mounting the Philippine Cup in a bubble at the 200-hectare Mimosa Leisure Estate extending to the Angeles University Foundation gym on Oct. 11 to Dec. 9, 2020. Charles Lim, chairman of the Sports Tourism Awards Board, advised PBA commissioner Willie Marcial of the citation which will be given in a ceremony at the Magellan Room of the Quest Plus Hotel in the Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, today.

“The award has been bestowed upon your organization in recognition for the remarkable efforts, sacrifice and excellent management executed by the entire PBA 2020 Philippine Cup organization in staging the 2020 Philippine Cup in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Lim in a letter to Marcial. The Sports Tourism Awards Board said the PBA will be honored “for its resolute, passion and commitment to basketball fans and continued efforts in promoting the sport despite the challenges during the pandemic.” It will be the fifth edition of the Sports Tourism Awards and the first since 2020.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will also be recognized as the Sports Tourism Association of the Year. The Board cited SBP for pursuing “every means and effort to hold and host domestic and international tournaments to uplift the spirits of basketball fans, not only in the Philippines but throughout the Asia Pacific region during the 2020 pandemic through bubble management…one such welcomed event was the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers held in 2021 where teams from South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia competed with host Philippines.” Other awardees are the Quest Plus Hotel Clark as Sports Tourism Hotel of the Year and Clark Freeport as Sports Tourism Destination of the Year.

It will be recalled that the PBA opened the 45th season with a single game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on March 8, 2020 then suspended the schedule when the government declared a lockdown. The Philippine Cup was resumed in October under bubble conditions at Clark and endured a four-day suspension midway the competition to finish with 350 officials, coaches, players and staff safe and sound. For 2 1/2 months, the PBA overcame periods of anxiety and stress to complete the conference.


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