PBA players prefer bubble setup over closed-circuit for season restart

PBA players prefer to play under the bubble setup, similar to what the NBA is doing, for the planned restart of the 2020 Philippine Cup in October.

The NBA is currently finishing its season under a full bubble setup in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida.

During a dialogue with league commissioner Willie Marcial, representatives from the 12 teams have made it clear that they are willing to spend the next couple of months holed up in a hotel if that is what it would take to resume the season which has been under suspension since March 8 due to the emergence of COVID-19.

Marcial met with the players on Wednesday afternoon and discussed with them the three types of setup – bubble, semi-bubble and closed-circuit which the league is considering for the restart.

“May tatlo akong bubble: ‘yung NBA bubble, ‘yung semi-bubble at ‘yung closed-circuit na ginagawa nila. Sinuggest nila na tanggalin daw ‘yung closed-circuit. Gusto talaga nila semi-bubble or bubble talaga. Huwag na daw ‘yung closed-circuit,” said Marcial.

“Para safe, kasi uuwi sila ng bahay noon eh. ‘Yung closed-circuit bubble na ‘yun, venue-to-home na ginagawa natin sa practices ngayon, kung pwede huwag na daw ‘yon,” he added.

Those who took part in the meeting were Alaska’s Vic Manuel, Brgy. Ginebra’s LA Tenorio, Blackwater’s Mac Belo, Magnolia’s Marc Pingris, Meralco’s Reynel Hugnatan, NLEX’s Asi Taulava, NorthPort’s Sean Anthony, Phoenix’s Matthew Wright, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood, San Miguel’s Alex Cabagnot, Terra Firma’s Rashawn McCarthy and TNT KaTropa’s Jayson Castro.

Aside from the setup, the players also shared their ideas and suggestions and expressed their willingness to finish the conference.

“Mga nitty-gritty details na lang sa accomodation. Marami silang suggestions pero maliliit na bagay na lang ‘yon,” stressed Marcial.

“Pero lahat sila willing to play. Walang nagsabi na ayaw nila maglaro. Lahat sila willing sa goal na sinabi ko. October 9 ang target ko. Titingnan natin ang scrimmages kung papayagan sa Manila or outside Manila. Pinakita ko lahat ng scenarios na pwede mangyari,” he added.

Marcial will then present the players’ preference and suggestions to the Board of Governors who in turn will decide in the same meeting the final venue, conference format and schedule for the planned resumption next month.

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