PBA: BCDA boss assures security, safety of teams in Clark bubble

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2020 11:53 AM

BCDA president Vince Dizon. File photo.

MANILA, Philippines -- The president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has assured that PBA players will be safe inside the "bubble" at Clark, where the league plans to restart its season in October.

Clark was granted hosting rights to the PBA bubble after a pitch made by BCDA president Vince Dizon to the Board of Governors, with the support of Noel Manankil, the president of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC).

"We will be creating a bubble, ika nga, talagang protektado po tayo diyan," Dizon said during an interview on "Sports Page" last Monday.

The PBA teams have exclusive use of the Quest Hotel, which is 10 minutes away from the Angeles University Foundation, the venue of the games. Each team has been provided with a dedicated bus that will be sanitized and disinfected.

Aside from having its own security force, Clark will also be assisted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in securing the bubble. The PBA teams will have police and security escorts to and from the venue.

"Hindi lang po ang Clark at ang Quest ang ilalagay natin sa bubble. Pati lahat ng venues for practice, and for the games itself, lahat po 'yan naka-bubble," Dizon said. 

"Ibig sabihin lahat po nang papasok diyan at lalabas diyan ay kailangan very, very strict na protocol ng testing and checking for clinical symptoms. Gagawin po 'yan ng ating mga health experts at ating mga doktor," he added.

Dizon added that one advantage of Clark is that it has its own molecular laboratory, which will be a major boost in their testing efforts. PBA commissioner Willie Marcial has previously said that the league will follow the protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the Department of Health when it comes to the frequency of testing.

Clark also has its own Medical City branch, said Dizon.

"World-class po lahat ng ating mga facilities diyan para sa ating mga players and coaches and staff," he said.

One major reason that the PBA chose Clark is its amenities, as the Board of Governors was concerned about keeping the players' spirits up during their two-month stay in the bubble.

During their days off, players can play in Clark's six golf courses, two of which are inside the gated community of Mimosa where Quest Hotel is also located.

"Kung medyo magsawa po ang mga player natin at coaches, at gusto nilang mag-enjoy, we have four other golf courses within Clark," said Dizon.

"Meron pong mga outdoor activities na pwede silang gawin doon. Pwede sila mag-ATV, meron po tayong water park pagka ito'y pinayagan na ng ating IATF," he added. "So napakadami po."

"And, of course, ang pinaka-ano diyan, 'yung pagkain. Alam niyo naman ang Kapampangan food is considered the best in the country, kaya ano po, sigurado po masarap ang kain ng ating mga PBA players, staff and coaches."

Pending approval from the IATF, the PBA teams are expected to enter the bubble by the weekend, with games to tip off on October 9. The All-Filipino Conference, which was halted in March due to the pandemic, should wrap up by December 9.