LGU outside NCR, Dubai group offer to host PBA bubble

A local government unit (LGU) is offering itself as host of the upcoming Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 46 Philippine Cup, according to league commissioner Willie Marcial.

“There is this LGU which is seriously offering itself to host the Philippine Cup if we ever decide to hold a full bubble again,” said Marcial.

Marcial said this LGU is far from the National Capital Region (NCR).

As of press time, Marcial is discussing with the PBA board about this LGU, along with the other important matters of the league.

Barangay Ginebra’s Aljon Mariano (left) defends Talk ’N Text’s Poy Erram during elimination round of the PBA Season 45 Philippine Cup in Angeles, Pampanga. PBA PHOTO

A new target opening date and schedule for the Philippine Cup, a tournament in a full or semi-bubble and vaccination of the players are just some of the things up for discussion.

With Clark, Pampanga — the place where the PBA held its 2020 Philippine Cup bubble —looking unavailable as it will host the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers set from June 16 to 20, the PBA is looking at other options, if and when it decides to hold another bubble.

“Clark would have been our first option as host of another bubble but there’s the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers that will coincide with our tournament set in late May or early June,” said Marcial.

Meanwhile, a group in Dubai is reportedly offering itself to host the Philippine Cup in said country.

While this might be a long shot, it’s not entirely new for the PBA, which held games featuring Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel Beer and NLEX in October of the 2019 Governors’ Cup at the Coca-Cola Arena in City Walk, Dubai.

The league eyed an April 18 opening and a semi-bubble setup tourney at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City but this was dashed as the city and the rest of the NCR plus was placed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 29 to April 11 and under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from April 12 until month’s end due to the spike of Covid-19 cases in the area.

Leagues are prohibited in areas under ECQ and MECQ.

Due to the strict lockdown, the limited face-to-face training of PBA teams also came to a stop.