PBA ‘bubble’: Cash, safety high on list

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    CASH figures and safety for the people involved will be factored in when the PBA finally decides where to hold its “bubble” site.

    At least five hotels adjoining or near each projected bubble facility have started making their respective presentations to Commissioner Willie Marcial yesterday and his decision would be presented to the league board in its next meeting.

    “I-ko-consider namin lahat ng proposals nila and then saka kami gagawa ng presentation sa board in the next meeting,” said Marcial.

    When that meeting would be is still up in the air, but Marcial would come ready with his recommendation.

    “Depende kung kailan magpapatawag si chairman (Ricky Vargas of TNT),” offered Marcial.

    “And baka may humabol pa kaya titingnan pa rin natin ‘yung sa kanila,” added Marcial.

    “Basta ‘yung pinakamagandang option ang i-pe-present natin sa Board.”

    Getting a bubble venue identified quickly is a must for the PBA so that it could readily draw up its own final plans for the season resumption, which is targeted to start next month.

    So far, the Clark and Subic Bay Freeport Zones, Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna and Baguio, aside from the Smart Araneta Coliseum, have been identified as possible venue for the bubble site.

    The bubble project, which is expected to last about two months at most, is sure going to be costly.

    Aside from paying for the exclusive use of both the playing and official game gyms, also to be counted in are the hotel accommodations for the estimated 350-400 guests made up of team players, coaching and support staff, TV crew and the PBA’s own personnel.

    The league would be hard-pressed to shoulder all expenses because it has had no revenue since being forced by the coronavirus pandemic to stop all operations last March 11 after having played just one game in the Philippine Cup.

    “Iyon ‘yung pag-uusapan pa, ‘yung gastos,” Marcial had previously said. “Baka hindi kayanin lahat ng PBA kaya puwedeng mag-share sa gastos ‘yung teams.”

    Also high on the priority list is the availability of medical facilities within or at least near the venue in case of injury or coronavirus infection.

    “Hangga’t maari ayaw naming lumabas pa ng site o complex para immediate medical attention at saka less ang risk of infection kaysa kung mahaba ang biyahe ng pasyente,” explained Marcial.

    As a prelude to the PBA’s resumption, teams have started conditioning and workouts for small groups of five players each last Tuesday with the next round of swab testing to be made on Saturday.