THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is finalizing plans of providing shuttle service to fans who are going to watch the games live at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Commissioner Chtio Salud is well aware people are not yet familiar on how to get to the newly-built playing arena owned by the Iglesia Ni Cristo which will host the opening ceremonies of the league’s 40th season on October 19.
The Philippine Arena is located at the vast Ciudad de Victoria compound, 16 kilometers north of Manila and is more accessible to people with private vehicles.
That’s the reason why Salud is now coordinating the utilization of around 200 shuttle buses to be deployed at different areas in Metro Manila to pick up and drop off fans who are going to watch the games at the venue.
“We want to make sure that when we hold the opening ceremonies there and every time we play there, there are shuttle buses available in key points of the city of Metro Manila to bring our fans there and bring them back here,” Salud said.
A source from the league added Salud intends to make the shuttle service free to the viewing public.
“Gusto talaga ni Kume maging libre, kaya he is exerting efforts to finalize the details of the shuttle service,” said the same source.
“He is also identifying the areas where the shuttle buses will pick up and bring back fans. Example dun sa Cubao Araneta Center area, mayruon sa Luneta, at Monumento.”
In this light, Salud hopes this is only the beginning of what he expects to be a smooth tie between the league and officials of Philippine Arena, where the commissioner intends to bring important games that will need to accommodate a huge number of live audience.
“We’ve met with the leadership of Iglesia ni Cristo and they are gentlemen. They are fine people. We are working closely together and we are happy to stage the opening day activities there,” he added.
The lawyer league chieftain also hinted about a lot of surprises awaiting the fans especially during the opening ceremonies, where former league greats are also expected to play an important role.
“We intend to make use of our legends, our greatest players, and as we know there are 25 of them now and we hope to add another 15 to commemorate our 40th anniversary,” Salud said.
As to whether the legendary Robert Jaworski would be in attendance during the opening ceremony, Salud quickly replied, “We would want to keep everything about the ceremonies under wraps.’
“We already have somebody in mind already, but we don’t want to announce it yet.”
Salud also bared the celebration will be centered at making fans feel how the league has evolved through the years.
“This is the 40th anniversary of the PBA and we are trying to make our opening ceremonies appropriate in the sense that we want to make our fans feel that we are grateful and that we will continue to do a good job for them,” he said.
“Watch out for it because Sports 5 has surprises and it could end up as a weekend affair, not just a single day activity.”