THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is waiting with much anticipation for the decision on the start of its Season 46 from government authorities.
The league early this week submitted its position papers to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and has been told that the PBA’s request will be tackled by the body in its next meeting.
“We have to be ready as we may be called to be heard anytime soon,” PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial was quoted as saying by the league website.
The PBA’s push is anchored on its successful staging of its “bubble” tournament in Clark, Pampanga, last year which was done under strict health and safety watch.
Among the papers submitted by the league to the IATF is a nine-page set of protocols that it will be implementing for its new season, beginning with the All-Filipino Philippine Cup.
Unlike last year where it only had one tournament because of the pandemic, the PBA this season is hoping to stage two conferences so as to “give fans more basketball action.”
It is angling to begin its new season at the latest in early July.
In the event it gets the nod, the PBA is looking to hold the games under a closed-circuit setup, and not the more costly full bubble, where teams’ movements are practically confined to home-gym-home.
Two venues are being eyed for it, namely, the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, which has hosted PBA games in the past, and the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, home of the PBA D-League.
As the league waits for the start of its new season, the 12 competing teams have been training for weeks now so as to be ready come tournament start.
The teams though are working out in facilities in Batangas, Pampanga and Ilocos Norte as prevailing quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region still prevent them from doing their on-court work within Metro Manila.
The league said the teams are sacrificing a lot by going outside of the NCR but that they are committed to making it happen so as to have the action going at the soonest possible time. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo