PBA open to hold games at newly-upgraded Philsports Arena
MANILA, Philippines — Back in the 1990s, the Multi-purpose Arena (MPA) inside the spacious Philsports Complex in Pasig City was a comfy home to the teams, players and fans of the Philippine Basketball Association.
And chances are high that the country’s finest professional basketball league will return to the same venue at a time when it reached the pinnacle of success.
Negotiations to hold PBA games again at the Philsports Arena, formerly known as Ultra (University of Life Theater and Recreational Arena), took a positive turn when league scouts led by Evihore Lopez, Renato Chavez and Niel Tibajares expressed delight over the upgrades that they saw.
Apart from the newly refurbished Philsports Arena, the PBA ocular team was likewise impressed with the improvements at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
“We are very positive about this. It would be nice to host the PBA in our arena,” said Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez, emphasizing that providing all-out support to the national team shall remain a top priority.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas spearheads the formation of the country’s men’s basketball team with the PBA in highly competitive overseas tournaments.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial has opened discussions with Ramirez to bring back the league to Philsports Arena in the coming 45th PBA season beginning with the Philippine Cup on March 1.
“I’m impressed with all the renovations that the PSC made at Philsports. We are definitely interested to hold our games there,” Marcial told the Inquirer.
The PSC, the government arm in sports, operates and maintains the Philsports Arena, Rizal Memorial Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
The 86-year-old RMC, the most historic among the three, is now air-conditioned and boasts of retractable seating.
According to venue manager Romy Teneza, the famed coliseum can now accommodate more or less 8,000 seat audience, depending on the seating plan.
PSC Deputy Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy revealed that even the UAAP has expressed desire to hold tournaments at the upgraded sports venues managed by the agency.
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