WITH fans back in the stands, will breaking the bubble be the next move for the UAAP?
League executive director Rebo Saguisag said that it's in the discussions, but for now, the next step is to welcome a 100 percent capacity in the venues.
"Before we talk about breaking the bubble, we want to get more fans in the venue. So instead of a 50-percent capacity, we're thinking of 100-percent capacity. So step-by-step muna tayo but still keeping the bubble intact," he said.
The UAAP finally welcomed back fans inside the venue on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Around 5,000 fans came to watch the quadruple-header where Ateneo stretched its win streak to 31 straight after a 74-64 escape from National University in the nightcap.
It's a promising sign for Saguisag and he's hopeful that soon the UAAP can return to normal, including drum corps and cheerleaders.
"The fact of the matter is I'm happy that the fans are back in the stadium ever so slowly. We want to ease them in, baby steps muna, and importante there's progress," he said.
"This is a big first step. If you recall, ang initial schedule natin was by the second round but just after four playdates in the middle of first round, here we are. I'm just happy and excited."
UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag said adjustments to student-athletes' bubble setups will be discussed.
Instead of breaking the bubble, what's more feasible in the near future, Saguisag said, is for the teams to be in a closed-circuit set-up, noting, "If you'll review the CHED Memorandum Order, I think even at Alert Level I pwede ang closed circuit, a semi-bubble."
"It's an option and it's there. There are a lot of people behind the scenes and yun ang talagang kino-consider namin, if it's time to ease up the bubble and do closed-circuit. It's going to be a tough choice and paguusapan na mabuti yan as we go on. So importante na makapag-100-percent tayo, manage it well, and maybe we'll proceed from there."
Whatever the gains and learnings are from the men's basketball tournament, Saguisag is upbeat that the UAAP can apply for the coming competitions -- from the upcoming women's volleyball tourney to the much-anticipated cheerdance competition.
"Sa cheerdance, we'll make a distinction. It's just a one-day event so baka mag-100-percent talaga tayo," he said.
"When it comes to volleyball, everything really is fluid and agile. So by then, it really depends on what the government will allow and our health and safety officer. We've been very aggressive and I'm very hopeful."
What matters most is that the league does everything in order, with Saguisag noting, "Yung timeline natin, we accelerated the easing up with the fans. By then, baka na-master na natin lahat ng protocols and the science. Importante na we're guided by the science and we do have the best advisers in Dr. [Jose Raul] Canlas and Dr. [Randy] Molo of the PSC."