ANOTHER region could be in the running other than tried and tested Clark, Pampanga if and when the PBA decides to hold another bubble season.
Commissioner Willie Marcial disclosed one local government unit (LGU) made known its serious intent to host the Philippine Cup under a bubble setup.
Marcial said he had talks with the LGU just last week.
“May LGU na nagrerekomenda na gusto nila. Kinausap ako last week,” said the commissioner.
Marcial refused to name the province at the moment as he will run it through first with the PBA board when it holds a crucial meeting on Monday.
The league held a successful Philippine Cup bubble last season at Clark which cost it around P65 to P70 million.
The same framework could have been perfect again this year especially with the league looking to hold its season opener in late May or early June.
And that’s where the problem lies.
Clark will be hosting the final qualifier of the FIBA Asia Cup which will certainly run smack with the PBA’s own playing schedule.
“May FIBA qualifier kasi dun. Kung wala sana,” said Marcial.
The FIBA meet was originally slated in Clark last February, but was called off at the last minute as government imposed a strict travel ban following the rise in COVID-19 cases.
It has since been rescheduled this June in the same bubble venue.
“Tinuloy kasi nila this June, malay ba natin na maaapektuhan tayo dun. February kasi ang original nun, e dapat ang PBA naman April (ang opening),” said Marcial.
The unavailability of Clark forced the PBA to look for other options.
“Kaya nga yun may isang nag-aalok sa akin na LGU, pero sasabihin ko muna sa board,” said Marcial, who simply described the LGU as a bit remote from the National Capital Region (NCR).
Last year, the league also considered other LGUs where it can stage the Philippine Cup besides Pampanga, namely, El Nido in Palawan, Batangas, Subic, and Laguna.
At the same time, Marcial mentioned the league’s agreement with Ynares Center in Antipolo remains in effect especially once Rizal province is downgraded to MGCQ (Moderate General Community Quarantine).
“Meron pa rin yun,” the commissioner stressed.
Prior to the postponement of the season opener following the re-imposition of a strict lockdown in NCR Plus, the league is already set to hold the Philippine Cup games in Antipolo under a semi-bubble setup.