PBA looking at training ‘bubble’ for season restart
MANILA, Philippines — Despite being already stretched financially due to the coronavirus pandemic, the PBA is determined to push through with its season.
After all, Asia’s pioneering professional basketball league has a blueprint to follow in the NBA, which has been highly successful with its bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida.
“We’re already here. My own feeling as part of the Board as chairman is we don’t have a choice. We already have a model, and the model is the NBA and we should just go ahead and move forward and look forward to the time that we’re going to play whether it’s the NBA way or a more innovative way,” an optimistic PBA chair Ricky Vargas said Tuesday during the PSA Forum webcast.
Several sites are being considered for the PBA’s version of the bubble.
Among the possible locations are the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, a school gym in Batangas, or a golf and country club in Subic.
The Araneta Center in Cubao is also being eyed.
“If we are indeed going with the bubble, I will present that with the board and discuss what the best option is,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial in Filipino.
But where the PBA bubble would be held is just one of the many concerns the league would have to address sooner than later.
Another big challenge is the financial aspect.
In the NBA’s case, the league’s spending on its restart is reportedly over $150 million.
“Also another problem more than the site and bubble option is financial,” Vargas admitted. “So we will have to look at our own financials if the PBA can cover that or will it be shared within the teams. These are important issues that we have to discuss in the board (meeting).”
“I agree with what Alaska team owner Fred Uytengsu said that there is going to be pressure financially for the team if these go on for a longer period of time. Not only for the teams but for the PBA itself,” he added.
Several PBA teams have resumed their workouts under strict monitoring to ensure that no violation of the safety and health protocols will be made.
“We are ready. This is a very good start, and we are ready to do what we’re supposed to do,” said Vargas.
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