THE Clark Development Corp. (CDC) welcomed the decision of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in choosing the free port as the bubble venue for the league’s 45th season Philippine Cup.
PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas cited the suitability of the free port to host the bubble in terms of safety, protocol control, proximity to hospitals and its ability to take care of the mental health of players during the bubble.
CDC, together with Bases Conversion and Development Authority, expressed elation over the PBA decision.
“We express our gratitude to the PBA Board of Governors for choosing Clark for its bubble tournament and we are eager to help the PBA to start actual on-site preparations,” CDC President-CEO Noel Manankil said.
NLEX Road Warriors Head Coach Yeng Guiao said Clark is more than capable of meeting the requirements for the PBA bubble, including accommodation, security and proximity. He said Clark has first-class amenities suitable for such a huge event.
With league adopting a full bubble format, the 12 PBA teams will be accommodated at the Quest Hotel inside the free port for two months. They will then be transported to gyms in the free port for training and preparation.
Players, crew and officials are expected to arrive in Clark on September 26, with scrimmages scheduled to start on September 27.
The Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center will be the official venue for the Philippine Cup.
Clark has been among the preferred destinations for numerous sports-related activities and has been recognized by the Philippine Sports Tourism Awards as the “Sports Destination of the Year” for 2015 and 2018. It has also hosted various international and local events including the 30th Southeast Asian Games last December.
The PBA board of governors on Thursday night decided to resume the season that was abruptly stopped in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic despite government restrictions on team and indoor sports while quarantines are imposed.
The league chose Clark over about half a dozen other potential bubbles, including Subic, El Nido in Palawan, Smart Araneta Coliseum and even Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Only one game was played in the Philippine Cup which opened in March.