PBA gets more offers from potential ‘bubble hosts’
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is getting more options in its bid to mount a “bubble” for the planned resumption of its 45th season in the middle of October.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said he was pleasantly surprised that nine hotels in Metro Manila and three more from other provinces have expressed interest in hosting the league’s contingent. Aside from these hotels, the PBA also got an offer from an organizer in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Marcial declined to name the hotels pending his presentation to the PBA Board in a meeting scheduled next week.
It seems that a bubble environment is the best option for the PBA if it wants to proceed with its milestone season. In a report by the New York Times on pro sports in the United States, it was clear that those holding tournaments in bubble environments have been more successful in containing the coronavirus that has stymied the global sports scene.
“I’m just happy that there’s a lot of interest from hotel industry players in hosting the PBA,” Marcial said in Filipino. “It’s very encouraging for us as a league. I think it’s a really great sign as far as the value of the PBA is concerned.”
Marcial said some hotels offered to help the league mount a basketball court in one of its ballrooms so that the players won’t need to leave the location.
With the NBA serving as a model, PBA officials believe the bubble is the best way to salvage the season that was shuttered in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All 12 teams have resumed practices in a limited capacity starting last week in line with strict health guidelines.
The Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, remains as one of the facilities being considered for the league’s restart, although Marcial has not ruled out the possibility of mounting the bubble outside of Metro Manila.
“One of those who presented their facilities told us that not only is the PBA going to help their industry, but also showcase tourism in the country,” Marcial said.