MANILA, Philippines -- The difficulties of holding sporting events in a bubble set-up will be the main topic of the third staging of the Philippine Professional Sports Summit by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
The event is set for Wednesday in a virtual forum. This marks the second straight year that GAB will hold its summit online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Top officials of the country's different professional leagues -- including the PBA, PVL, and PFL -- will discuss the challenges of holding tournaments during these trying times. Representatives of other pro sports including boxing, golf, and esports will also serve as guest speakers.
"There will be leagues that are going to share their experiences. Happy tayo that maso-showcase 'yung mga ginawa nila kasi ang hirap talaga. Planning pa lang and approval niyan ang hirap talaga," said GAB chairman Baham Mitra during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.
"Magastos 'yan, kasi ilang araw kayo mag-bubble or mag-isolate bago kayo payagan," he added.
This year's theme is: "Professional Sports Through the Pandemic: Now and Future Directions."
Serving as resource speakers are PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro, former PBL commissioner Chino Trinidad for VisMin Cup, Mark Zambrano for Chooks To Go Pilipinas 3x3, and Rhose Montreal in behalf of the NBL and WNBL – all representing basketball.
Resource speakers in other sports include Ricky Palou (PVL), Coco Torre (PFL), Atty. Paul Elauria (PCAP), Mohamed Shariz (PGTI-golf), Steven Uytengsu (Ironman Triathlon), Marlon Marcelo (Philippine Esports Organization), Nico Kenji Nazario (e-sports), Jonmar Villaluna (e-sports player), boxing promoters Brico Santig, JC Mananquil, and Charlemagne Marban III, boxing officials Alberto Dulalas, Romulo Marlou Neri, Atty. Danrex Tapdasan, Nicolas Banal, muay Thai promoter Francis Amandy, and Team Lakay chairman and head coach Mark Sangiao.
"Meron din tayong mga policy makers na magsasalita and then of course, the players, the licensees," said Mitra.
The GAB chief added his office also invited the Commission on Higher Education, State Universities and Colleges, Philippine Sports Commission, and provincial, city, and regional sports coordinators for them to have an idea on how things are being done on the professional level in this time of the pandemic.
"Ang gusto lang natin dito ay matuto para 'yung mga kabataan ay malaman what’s ahead on the professional scene," Mitra explained. "So that their eyes will be opened to the professional leagues, and that's why we would like to reach out to as many people as possible."
Mitra said this will be the last pro summit that is going to be held under his watch as his term is coterminous with President Rodrigo Duterte.
It was first held in 2019 at the PICC and then last year staged via online for the first time.