PBA bubble eyed to boost Ilocos Norte’s ‘sports tourism’ potential
LAOAG CITY — Another ‘bubble’ is being eyed in Ilocos Norte, not for travel, but for sports as the province is keen on mounting one for the Philippine Basketball Association’s 46th season to kick-off in June.
Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc said that a PBA ‘sports bubble’ in the province would be both beneficial for its residents and the athletes.
As coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces continue to rise, the PBA playoffs were planned to be held in ‘bubbles’ in provinces under the most lenient COVID-19 restrictions.
Manotoc assured a safe environment for the PBA bubble in Ilocos Norte as it could boost the province’s ‘sports tourism’ potential.
Ilocos Norte is currently on modified general community quarantine, the third most restrictive quarantine classification in the country.
Before the pandemic struck, sports events were a popular reason to travel, with Ilocos Norte becoming a major destination for national and international sports events, such as triathlons, volleyball, and water sports activities.
In December 2020, the “Tri Ilocos Norte,” a triathlon event being held in the province, was awarded as the best sports tourism event in the country.