FIBA also keeping close watch on PBA's bubble

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2020 01:27 PM

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA, Philippines -- There is a lot at stake in the PBA's "bubble" in Clark, Pampanga, where the league has decided to resume its season that was halted by the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

It is not just the PBA that is fervently praying for the success of the endeavor. Other leagues, particularly the Philippine Superliga, are also keeping track of the PBA's activities as they, too, look to hold their own event later this year.

According to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, even FIBA is invested in the PBA's undertaking, which makes them the first league in the Philippines to return to action after the global health crisis forced virtually all sports to stop six months ago. 

"Tinitingnan po tayo ng FIBA kung paano," Marcial revealed in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. "So 'yung 3x3 at FIBA, parang gustong … 'Pag naging successful tayo, baka gamitin po ang Clark."

"'Yun po ang balita ko," he added, without going into details.

FIBA 3x3 events have already resumed in Europe, and the organization has also announced that its continental competitions -- including the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers -- will take place in bubble set-ups in November 2020 and February 2021.

If the PBA and Clark pull off the All-Filipino Cup without a hitch in the coming months, the area may just be considered as a potential site for FIBA's qualifying windows. 

Vince Dizon, the president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), said Clark will be ready to host other leagues if they want to follow in the footsteps of the PBA. 

"First of all, we will await the request of other leagues or other sports who may want to follow the PBA," said Dizon, who together with Clark Development Corp. president Noel F. Manankil won the bid to host the league's bubble.

"I think na as long as maayos ang protocol at merong area kung saan mase-secure, kaya natin," he added. "Pero hihintayin natin ang request galing sa iba't ibang sports."

Live sports are slowly but surely making a comeback in the Philippines after a six-month hiatus because of the pandemic.

Aside from the PBA, the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league is also set to start its President's Cup, while the PSL is planning a beach volleyball tournament in November.

In Cebu, Omega Sports Promotions will hold a boxing card inside a "bubble," with four matches scheduled for October 7.