THE PBA is set to make a return to the Philsports Arena this season, with a plan to also hold games at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial met with Philippine Sports Commission chairman Noli Eala on Friday and it was agreed that the Philsports Arena will host games starting in the Commissioner’s Cup.
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The PSC operates the Philsports Arena, home of the PBA from 1985 to 1992 and from 1999 to 2002.
“Pinag-usapan namin, tinatanong kung makakalaro tayo sa Philsports. Pinag-usapan namin at pumayag siya sa proposal na maglalaro tayo doon,” said Marcial on his discussion with Eala, a former PBA commissioner.
Deputy commissioner Eric Castro was also present in the meeting with the PSC chairman.
Marcial said he intends to make the 10,000-seater arena as a regular venue of the league in addition to the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena, and the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
“Isasama na namin ang Philsports sa rotation,” said Marcial, who added the league has already inspected the venue a few weeks ago.
Marcial also discussed with Eala the league’s desire to play at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, the venue where several historic basketball games were held.
Erected in 1934, the Rizal Coliseum which seats around 6,000 persons recently had a major facelift for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games gymnastics competitions.
The Philsports Arena was also renovated prior to the SEA Games where it hosted the volleyball competitions.
“Sinabi ko kay chairman na baka puwedeng makapaglaro ng isa o dalawang game sa Rizal Memorial,” said Marcial.
Marcial noted the importance of the PBA’s relationship with the PSC even though the basketball league is professional in nature.
“Dati pa naman, sila chairman Butch Ramirez at mga commissioners nila, nagtutulungan ang ahensya at PBA. Sports din naman. Dati, kay chairman Ramirez, nakahiram pa nga kami ng court sa kanila,” said Marcial.