The PBA has been looking around for a place suitable to set up a competition bubble similar to what the NBA put up at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said the Clark Freeport Zone, which played as one of the host venues of the recent Southeast Asian Games, might turn out to be the best location for such bubble when the PBA returns.
“Three things. First, we have the rooms – the accommodation by hotels in Clark that can entail 12 teams. So that’s about 400 to 500 people,” Guiao said.
Clark is home to top hotels that can potentially accommodate all 12 teams of the PBA. They include Marriott Hotel, Widus Hotel and Casino, Royce Hotel, Midori Hotel and a host of others.
Clark has a 20,000-seat stadium, a FINA (International Swimming Federation) certified Aquatics Center and an Athletes Village at New Clark City.
“Second, Clark is gated. It is self-contained so safety and health protocols can be easily implemented there,” Guiao said.
The former national team coach also said Clark's proximity to Manila is a plus, especially in case of emergency.
“In case one of the players has a family emergency, they can easily get out of the bubble so it’s a factor,” he said.
But the coach acknowledged that the decision will still depend on the PBA Board of Governors and the Office of the Commissioner.
The concept of the PBA bubble is patterned after the NBA model, in which all players and staff, officials and other people involved will be confined in one place to prevent contamination of COVID-19.
This means that everybody inside the bubble will have no physical contact with other people outside of it, including their families.
Other possible bubble venues eyed by the PBA include the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna, Subic in Zambales, and even Dubai in United Arab Emirates.