THE PBA is very much welcome to hold its bubble in Ilocos Norte if the league decides to choose such a set-up for its 46th season.
Ilocos Norte governor Matthew Manotoc confirmed the province has offered to be the host if the PBA opts to mirror its bubble conference at Clark last year due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Metro Manila.
Manotoc, who is also a player agent, said the province has yet to go into specifics as to how the bubble will be mounted, but expressed his desire to help the league make its season possible.
“No specifics yet kasi the bubble isn’t the first option,” said Manotoc, son of former PBA coach Tommy Manotoc. “But I consider myself part of the PBA family since I grew up watching the games live as my father and brother (TJ) did the commentary and now being an agent with Danny and Marvin Espiritu."
At the moment, the PBA is still leaning towards a closed-circuit set-up, but that will only be clearned if all teams and the league’s staff are inoculated.
The PBA hopes that everyone within the league will be vaccinated by June to be able to hold a two-conference season this year.
Manotoc is confident the PBA can play its season under a safe environment in his province.
Ilocos Norte is currently under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), and areas under such classification can already hold professional sports events under strict health guidelines.
When Clark hosted last year’s season, Pampanga was also under MGCQ which paved the way for the PBA to stage a two-month bubble.
“I also believe a bubble can be mutually beneficial. Ilocos Norte has a lot to offer and so does the PBA. I hope to welcome PBA teams soon in whatever set-up. I’ll always support the PBA whole-heartedly,” said Manotoc.