Number of playable Batangas city venues to be determined
Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Willie Marcial and his staff will do the physical inspection on three venues in Batangas City on Friday to determine whether the league can have all of its 12 teams hold practices there and put a semblance of a start to its 46th Season.
There are three venues as candidates, with one of them, the Batangas Coliseum where out-of-town games were held in the past, sure to pass the league’s standards. And that leaves the Batangas State University and Lyceum College gyms up for the scrutiny of Marcial and his crew.
“We need at least two venues and it would be best if all three pass,” Marcial told the Inquirer. “Ideally, four teams can share one venue and no more than that.”
Marcial said that teams are interested in the idea of holing up in Batangas City to practice, although there are others who are considering going up north even as at least a couple of marquee names stated that the setup of practices and tournaments are farthest from their minds, as they have long been itching to play.
“I don’t mind entering another bubble,” CJ Perez, San Miguel Beer’s new acquisition, told the Inquirer. “We’ve all been through that anyway.”
Perez, after all, is currently inside one together the Gilas 3×3 crew preparing for the Olympic Qualifiers in Austria later this month.
Court’s safety standards
“I’m for anything that gets us to start playing again,” said Phoenix franchise player Matthew Wright. “I don’t care if it’s a bubble under C5.”
“It would be all up to them. What’s important is that those venues pass the safety standards of the league and the health standards needed,” he said.
Marcial sits down with Mayor Beverley Dimacuha and Rep. Marvey Mariño to discuss the health protocols and the security measures the league needs to implement for team practices.
The PBA was supposed to take the lid off its 46th Season last April 9, but a surge in new coronavirus infections and the spread of new variants have thrown a monkey wrench to that.
The league has made Batangas a prime venue for full-on scrimmages due to its proximity to the capital along with the possibility of the town being downgraded to a much more relaxed quarantine restriction. “Around five to seven teams are keen on the offer,” said Marcial. “But nothing official yet.”
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