SBP’s Sonny Barrios says bubble concept could be ‘expensive proposition’

Published September 1, 2020, 3:52 PM

by Jonas Terrado

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios (PSA Images)

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios said a bubble concept could be costly if leagues like the PBA would push through with such plan in order to resume their tournaments.

The PBA is pondering the pros and cons of the bubble while Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 plans to implement a similar setup if they can start their season on Oct. 2 at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

But Barrios said in a recent webinar of the Philippine Olympic Committee the finances will be key if the two leagues will implement the concept the same way how the NBA has succeeded in its ongoing bubble.

The NBA is spending $170 million for the bubble being held at the Walt Disney World in Orlando.

“I understand the PBA is taking a look at that, but seriously it can be an expensive proposition if one wants to pursue it the way the NBA did it,” Barrios told webinar host Akiko Thompson.

“For example, putting 12 PBA teams in a bubble, meaning to say Clark or Subic, and housing them for even a shortened tournament that lasts for two months, that means you’re not going anywhere except inside the bubble for the duration of the tournament,” added the former PBA commissioner.

READ: TNT bubble could serve as prototype, says chairman Ricky Vargas

Asked by Thompson if there’s a realistic chance of the bubble happening, Barrios responded that the bubble still presents health risks for everyone involved.

“If you’re in a bubble, you’re mentioning risk. One COVID case inside the bubble will burst it,” he said. “Because, you’ll start this contact tracing inside the bubble, and before you know it, it can get out of hand. So it’s quite difficult. I’m sure the PBA will take a serious, hard look.”

National teams are still prohibited to train based on the Joint Administrative Order of the Games and Amusements Board, Philippine Sports Commission and Department of Health.

Barrios said the SBP is in no rush to have Gilas Pilipinas resume its training sessions.

“We in SBP, since COVID, we have adopted the better-safe-than-sorry principle. That is why we’re not rushing the national team into training without health and safety protocols in place,” he said.