Delegates make selves at home in bubble
The first batch of delegates making up the PBA’s restart arrived in batches at Quest Hotel in Mimosa on Monday, and all of them can’t wait for COVID-19 test results to come out so that they can play ball for the first time in what seems like an eternity,
Players and coaching staff of Meralco, Terra Firma, TNT, Phoenix and Magnolia can get health clearances as early as Thursday and hope to start full contact scrimmage that day, which would signal that full bloom restart of the league’s stalled 45th season.
San Miguel Beer is the defending Philippine Cup champion, and the Beermen are expected at Clark on Tuesday together with the rest of the 12-team field that has not played since the league was shuttered in early March when the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
“I just got my nosed picked,” Johnedel Cardel, Terra Firma coach, told the Inquirer with a chuckle. “Kidding aside, everything’s OK. It seems peaceful here, too.”
This is an ambitious undertaking of the league, as it will spend around P65 million just to play the Philippine Cup in the next two months in its version of the bubble—patterned after the NBA’s successful setup at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
“Everything was well organized and went smoothly,” Meralco coach Norman Black added. ”I just can’t wait to get back to work.”
Some of the players have already seen their accommodations and have made themselves feel at home right away.
“My room. Hopefully 4 the next 2 months,” TNT forward Troy Rosario said in an Instagram post where he showed a photo of his room. Rosario, of course, knows that staying in the bubble for the next two months would mean making it all the way to the title series.
Coaches are given rooms of their own. Players, meanwhile, are to share them.
There will be two games played every day starting Oct. 11 until a champion is crowned.
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.