The PBA Board of Governors on Thursday selected Clark, Pampanga as host of the planned resumption of the 45th season on Oct. 9 under a bubble concept.
Clark got the nod after commissioner Willie Marcial and team governors led by league chairman Ricky Vargas and vice chair Bobby Rosales met to finalize plans for the season restart.
“We looked at all those that were interested to host the PBA, and we thought it was the one that has the most complete offering from the safety standpoint, particularly from the protocol, from the control, the nearness to hospitals and our ability to take care of the mental health of our players during the bubble,” Vargas said in a Zoom press conference.
Vargas said the league had been working closely with Bases Conversion and Development Authority head Vince Dizon and Clark Development Corporation’s Noel Manankil regarding arrangements for the planned bubble.
Under the agreement, players, coaches, PBA officials and staff and selected media personnel will be housed exclusively at the Quest Hotel, with games to be held inside the campus of Angeles University Foundation.
The only hurdle now is for the PBA to secure an approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force, which has only allowed the pro leagues to hold training sessions under strict health measures.
“Once we get an approval from the IATF, we’re ready to go,” said Vargas.
The plan is for teams to enter the bubble on Sept. 27 for a 15-day scrimmage followed by the season restart which is expected to last until the second week of December.
COVID-19 tests based on the protocols of the Department of Health will be observed during the course of the bubble while everyone inside is barred from leaving or face corresponding sanctions from the league.