The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) assured that strict health protocols will be implemented to ensure the safety of over 600 local and foreign players, coaches, and staff during the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Cup Qualifiers Bubble in Clark on June 13.
BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Vince Dizon said the BCDA and its subsidiary Clark Development Corp. (CDC), in coordination with the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP), the national government, and the local governments of Pampanga and Angeles City, are doing the necessary preparations to provide a safe sports bubble environment for the nine participating teams.
“Hosting the PBA bubble in Clark last year gave BCDA and CDC the experience of mounting sporting events in the face of COVID-19. This time, with the arrival of foreign teams for the FIBA Asia Cup, BCDA and CDC will step up to the challenge and leave no stone unturned. Health and safety measures will be strictly enforced to protect all athletes and staff, and to eliminate the possibility of spreading the virus,” Dizon said in a statement.
In coordination with FIBA, organizers will implement the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Games and Amusements Board (GAB), and Department of Health’s (DOH) Joint Administrative Order on Physical Activities and Sports During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dizon said the movements of players, coaches, and staff will be limited to within the airport, hotels, and the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center where the tournament will be held.
The games are scheduled from June 16 to 20. However, 200 foreign delegates from eight countries and territories are scheduled to arrive on June 13. A total of 617 participants are expected to be included in the bubble.
They will be quarantined the next day, practices will be held on June 15. Visiting teams will depart on June 21.
The teams are required to take RT-PCR tests 12 days, seven days, and two days before their departure to the Philippines.
“This is a team effort. Everyone, including the government, LGUs, organizers, athletes, and staff must play their part to ensure the success of the FIBA bubble,” Dizon added.
The Philippines was originally slated to host the qualifiers last February but had to pull out due to the extension of travel restrictions following a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Hosting duties were then handed over to Qatar, but the country also encountered its own drawbacks due to the pandemic, prompting FIBA to return the role to the Philippines.
On May 6, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued Resolution 114, which approved the request of the SBP to host the sporting event.
The country will host Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Guam.