THE PBA board will have a lot on its plate when it convenes today to decide on what steps to take in its projected resumption next month.
According to Commissioner Willie Marcial, the meeting starts right after lunch at the league offices, with how to finish the Philippine Cup as the main agenda.
Included in the agenda are the protocols, if any, that would be added to the current, already-stringent safety measures the PBA is implementing, the proposed format changes in the Philippine Cup, what kind of bubble system to be adopted, and the site.
“Mahabang talakayan iyon. Baka mag-overnight kami,” Marcial told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
“Titingnan natin kung makaka-desisyon na sila. Baka mag-desisyon na rin kung paano. Sana.”
In case the pandemic situation doesn’t drastically improve for the better, the PBA is looking at a bubble concept to salvage at least part of what should have been a landmark 45th season.
After the season opened last March 8 with one game in the Philippine Cup, the PBA was forced to lock down three days later by the COVID-19 outbreak.
After being allowed to do so, players have gone through individual workouts starting last Aug. 25, with Marcial writing the IATF last Monday for teams to be allowed to conduct full contact scrimmages as early as next week.
Once allowed, another letter would be written by the PBA requesting the IATF to give the go-signal for official games to be played by Oct. 9 at the earliest. But only through a bubble concept which the league feels is the safest option amidst the lingering virus threat.
First to be settled is the question of what kind of a bubble would be used with the league having the option of following the NBA lead or continuing with its Bundesliga-like concept.
“Sa NBA, lahat kayo nasa iisang lugar lang. Hotel, tapos pupunta ka ng venue. Nandoon na ‘yung court mo, hotel mo. Kahit mag-travel ka nasa area ka lang,” explained Marcial.
“Sa Bundesliga iyung ginagawa natin ngayon (in the compact practices),” added Marcial.
“Home-gym-home ka lang, na may monitoring.”
Where to hold it is another matter that needs to be addressed.
Marcial said that no less than 19 hotels have submitted their bids, with majority of them within Metro Manila.
Hotels in Batangas, Laguna, Pampanga, Zambales, Palawan and Tagaytay, not to mention faraway Dubai, have also offered their own venues.
“Basta lahat ng representation nila i-pe-presenta ko sa board and then bahala ang governors kung ano pipiliin,” said Marcial.
He also said that in order to finish the tournament and season by mid-December, changes in format would be made. Those include adding on to the usual three playdates per week and shortening the playoffs.