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Pampanga governor backs PBA bubble in Clark

Pampanga Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda (second from left) addresses a press conference on Wednesday at the Quest Hotel in Clark Freeport. Also in photo are (from left) Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane, Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and CEO Vince Dizon and Bataan Gov. Albert Gracia.

PAMPANGA Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda expressed his support for Clark to host the Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) bubble as the league aims to restart its 45th season amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a press conference on Covid-19 pandemic programs of the government at the Quest Hotel at the Clark Freeport, Pineda stressed that should the PBA Board of Governors decide to choose Clark as the venue, Pampanga will welcome this as an opportunity to showcase the warmth and hospitality of the province and its people.

“If the PBA bubble is staged here in Pampanga, expect the utmost support from the province and Clark through  BCDA [Bases Conversion and Development Authority] President and CEO Vivencio Dizon and the other governors of Central Luzon,” Pineda said.

Also present in the press conference were Bataan Gov. Albert Garcia, Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane and Dizon.

Clark is on the PBA’s list for potential hosts of the bubble, a virus-free environment that the league would pattern from the National Basketball Association model at Disney World in Florida.

Together with Clark Development Corp. (CDC) President and CEO Noel Manankil and Dizon, the provincial government would see to it that players, officials and staff would feel at home while enjoying the world-class facilities in Clark, Pineda said.

NLEX Road Warriors Head Coach Joseller “Yeng” Guiao already cited the advantage of Clark to become the PBA bubble because of the availability of top-notch hotels, proximity to Metro Manila, safety and security with Clark being a gated community.

The other venues being eyed by the PBA are Baguio City, Batangas, Cubao, El Nido, Laguna, Subic and even Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Clark, a two-time winner of Sports Tourism Destination of the Year award, has hosted several sports in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year. It is also considered as a “safe haven,” with investors, workers, residents and visitors observing strict health protocols during the pandemic.

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