Alas, Racela see ‘Araneta bubble’ as ‘good option’ for PBA restart
MANILA, Philippines — PBA head coaches Louie Alas of Phoenix and Nash Racela of Blackwater are all in for the PBA’s plan to create a bubble environment for its planned season restart later this year.
For Alas and Racela, the bubble will not only give the players the chance to play, but also for Filipinos to have a sense of normalcy amid the trying times.
“That’s good because, just like in the NBA, you can protect the players and even the officials. It’s safer that way,” said an optimistic Racela Friday. “It’s more costly of course but from what I read earlier commissioner (Willie Marcial) said he’s looking at one to two months for a tournament and if that’s the case, cost-wise, then that’s not much of a financial burden.”
The PBA is looking to stage just the All-Filipino Conference in its restart as bringing in foreign players for the other two conferences won’t be viable due to the pandemic.
“I’m all for the bubble because I too want a shortened conference because it can help our countrymen because they can finally basketball getting played,” said Alas in Filipino. “Even though it’s behind closed doors, I really want the bubble to be created.”
Several sites have been pegged as potential venues to house the league’s bubble, which will be based on the structure the NBA built at Walt Disney World in Florida with the PBA looking at Laguna, Batangas, Subic, Clark, and Quezon City’s Smart Araneta Coliseum as probable sites.
The management of the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, a stadium the PBA already played its games in 2019, also reached out to the league offering the facility for the proposed bubble.
Of those areas, both Alas and Racela see the Big Dome in Cubao as the most logical location to hold a bubble for the PBA as it already has the facility and Novotel is just less than a five-minute walk from the coliseum.
“Araneta is a good option plus Novotel is a good hotel,” said Racela.
Alas feels Araneta is the best way to go. His only concern though is that the lack of a practice facility with only one basketball court inside the venue.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.