PBA gets more time to find ‘bubble’

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    THE PBA’s search for a suitable area for its projected bubble just got an extension.

    According to Commissioner Willie Marcial, some of the teams’ representatives have other commitments to attend to, forcing the cancellation of what should have been a regular board meeting yesterday.

    “Puwera na lang kung magpapatawag sila chairman (Ricky Vargas) ng emergency meeting o, kundi man emergency, special,” Marcial said. “Pero ganu’n pa man, siguro next month pa iyon.”

    Topping the list in the items to be discussed in the meeting are the PBA’s bubble plan, the launching of the league’s 3×3 tourney and the penalties, if any, to be meted Blackwater for practicing even before being allowed to do so last June.

    “We’re going through the process and what is important is due process,” PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas of TNT said in last Tuesday’s PSA Forum webcast.

    “What is also important is to be able to ascertain that the decision that’s going to be made or has been made is not contrary to the constitution and by-laws of the PBA. This is a very sensitive issue that we are looking at.”

    Vargas and Blackwater officials have remained mum on the issue that has already resulted in the Elite being fined P100,000 by Marcial and getting a stern warning from the GAB.

    “We choose to remain quiet about this at the moment. I hope you can respect that,” explained Vargas. “Both parties agreed to keep the discussion private at the moment and that’s important.”

    That doesn’t mean the procedural process on whether Blackwater’s appeal for Marcial’s fine to be done away with has ground to a halt.

    “Exchanges of letters have been happening,” bared Vargas. “We are waiting for Blackwater to bring this matter up to the Board, to the chairman, and the way they should bring it up.”
    Ultimately, the final decision rests on the governors.

    “The whole board will decide,” said Vargas. “The guidelines have (already) been given sa last board meeting namin. The Board gave guidelines to the (appeals) committee. They will present back.”

    The Board meeting’s deferment suits Marcial well since he is still in the process of collating more data on the areas that could possibly host the NBA-style, but more miniature bubble, which he is set to present to the governors.

    The PBA is seriously mulling the possibility of the bubble to play out its remaining Philippine Cup games starting in October should it be allowed to do so by the concerned government agencies.

    “Gina-gather ko pa lahat ng mga detalye ng mga kung saan puwedeng mag-bubble,” Marcial said.

    Vargas and Marcial bared they are looking at the facilities of Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, the Batangas City Coliseum, Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga and the Subic Bay Special Economic and Freeport Zone.

    Marcial added they even considered Ilocos Norte’s capital city, which had already been a two-time PBA All-Star Week host.

    “Naisip nga namin ang Laoag, pero sira nga pala court doon, ‘yung flooring,” said Marcial. “Kaya balik kami sa paghahanap pa ng madadagdag and then mag-re-recommend kami ng pinakamagandang option.”