PBA bubble in Dubai a possibility
MANILA, Philippines—The PBA has been mulling to implement its own bubble to resume its games for the 2020-21 season and Dubai has emerged as one of its options.
According to the league’s website, Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena reached out to Commissioner Willie Marcial to show its interest in hosting the games.
“They have communicated with us and they’re asking for the requirements,” said Marcial as he referred to Mark Jan Kar, Commercial Director of Coca-Cola Arena.
Coca-Cola Arena already hosted PBA games back in 2019 when San Miguel, NLEX, and Ginebra traveled to the United Arab Emirates during the Governors’ Cup.
Baguio and El Nido are also seen as potential places where the PBA can host its bubble with groups pushing forward with the two tourist destinations as an alternative outside of Greater and Metro Manila.
League chairman Ricky Vargas said on Tuesday during the PSA Forum Webcast that Laguna, Batangas, Subic, Clark, and Quezon City’s Smart Araneta Coliseum are being considered venues for the resumption of the league.
The Big Dome can be considered as the most viable venue as it has been a de facto home of the PBA and a hotel that can house the teams is just a stone’s throw away from the coliseum.
“We’re getting there and my feeling is we don’t have a choice,” said Vargas in Filipino during the forum. “We already have a model and that’s what’s the NBA is doing. We just have to go ahead, move forward and look forward to the time that we can play once more.”
Vargas’ pronouncements drew interest from various parties including hotels in the Metro who are offering lodging and transportation for the teams.
Marcial said all the options could make the league’s return feasible albeit getting a shortened season.
“If we play double-header or triple-header four or five days a week, we can finish the tournament in two months,” said Marcial. “If we play everyday then it can be a month and a half but it will depend on our TV coveror.”
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