With the IATF guidelines still pending whether to do a bubble or closed circuit, the PBA is studying options of where to hold the games once the 46th season starts tentatively on April 11 with the Araneta Coliseum and Ynares Center in Antipolo as possible venues.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said yesterday Araneta has been unused since the start of the lockdown and is a leading candidate. He will check on the availability of the Antipolo site and the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig. The hardcourt of the Pasig facility is reportedly under repair. Marcial added he will also look into other NCR venues such as MOA. He said the key is a venue must be prepared to give its full commitment to the PBA in terms of schedule.
The plan is to conduct a semi-bubble where players, coaches and staff are subjected to a home-venue-home routine with periodic testing as stipulated by the IATF. It’s not likely the PBA will do another bubble because of the costs, tedious logistics and mental stress. The league intends to play a 10-month season split into two conferences, the Philippine and Governors Cups. Playing days are Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Additionally, the PBA will inaugurate its 3×3 season with three conferences each to feature six legs and a grand final. The 3×3 games will be held on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the same venue as 5×5.
Marcial said 16 teams are lined up to compete in 3×3. Of the league’s 12 existing franchises, only Alaska will not participate because of Bachmann’s affiliation. Marcial said it’s a sacrifice for Alaska and he lauded Bachmann for his commitment to the 3×3 initiative. He declined to identify the five new entities playing 3×3 and said the disclosure will be made in two weeks. ( J. Henson, PS)