WHEN the PBA holds its opening rites for its 40th season at the Philippine Arena on October 19, motorists who will ply the North Luzon tollway need not worry about Sunday afternoon traffic.
This was the assurance made by NLEX president Rodrigo Franco who said he has already met with PBA officials to discuss the traffic plan in and around the Iglesia ni Cristo-owned complex during opening day.
“Nag-meeting na kami ng mga taga-PBA about the preparations for the opening. We are working very hard with the PBA and the NLEX patrol to make sure na smooth ang opening,” said Franco.
“Yes po. Walang dapat ipangamba ang mga motorists natin sa NLEX especially the northbound dahil inayos na namin ang mga contingency in case magkaroon ng build up,” he said.
“The management will be one hundred percent focused and monitoring the activity. Pati traffic flow po babatanyan natin,” said the former JP Morgan Chase executive in New York.
The NLEX serves as the main entry and exit point for the complex, which caused massive traffic jams during the celebration of the INC's centennial celebration last month.
Franco, however, was quick to ease fears of the PBA opening causing gridlock at the expressway.
“Hindi po mangyayari yun, kasi yung sa celebration ng Iglesia… one and half million na tao yun,” said Franco, whose company is one of three new members fielding teams in the league's 40th season.
“Hindi naman siguro aabot ng ganun karami ang tao sa opening… although we wish it would be that much. Pero kung 55,000, mas madali po nating mababantayan,” added the Cabiao, Nueva Ecija native.
Meanwhile, PBA operations head Rickie Santos revealed NLEX has already mapped out routing plans for vehicles going to and from the Philippine Arena on opening day.
“Naipakita na nila sa amin yung mga plano kung saan lalabas at papasok ang mga sasakyan. And we are happy kasi very systematic naman yung ibinigay ng NLEX,” said Santos while also guaranteeing ample parking space for private vehicles inside the 140-hectare complex.
Meanwhile, fans will also be treated to free shuttle by the PBA through Columbian Autocar Corporation, which will shoulder the expenses for the 200 buses to used to transport viewing fans.
NLEX asset management Ed Domingo gave Spin.ph a guide to the entry and exit points at the Philippine Arena.
“Pag galing po kayo ng Maynila, main entrance lang po pasok niyo, after Marilao exit po yun,” said Domingo. “Yung mga galing naman po ng Norte, exit po kayo sa Bocaue tapos kaliwa kayo then turn right sa Governer Halili road. Mga 300 meters from exit yun."
Motorists coming from the southern part of Bulacan may use the Meycauyan exit to then proceed up north to the Philippine Arena entry point.
Another option for those coming from the south is the Marilao exit when they then left to Duhat road to gain access to the back entrance of Philippine Arena.