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Aug 27, 2020

PBA now in exploratory talks with prospective bubble hosts

THE Philippine Basketball Association has drawn attention from a number of prospective bubble tournament hosts from as far as Dubai, with the PBA ball clubs barely in its first few days of light workouts.

The Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, which has hosted official PBA games, has expressed interest and is now in exploratory talks with the PBA Commissioner's Office.

"They have communicated with us and they're asking for the requirements," said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, referring to Mark Jan Kar, Commercial Director of Coca Cola Arena

Then there are inquiries from groups who are looking at the possibility of bringing PBA games in Baguio and in El Nido, Palawan.

Interests for possible tie-ups with the PBA have sprouted since league chairman Ricky Vargas stressed the league's desire to move forward with a goal of salvaging Season 45 with at least one conference starting by October.

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Vargas is batting for the adoption of the NBA concept, citing Laguna, Batangas, Subic, Clark and the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City as bubble options.

"Nandyan na tayo eh, and my own feeling is we don't have a choice. May model na tayo in what's the NBA is doing. We just have to go ahead, move forward and look forward to the time na laro na tayo," said Vargas during his appearance at the PSA Forum Tuesday.

His pronouncements drew interest from numerous quarters, including Manila hotels offering lodging and transportation to the league.

The league commissioner said all these make the league return feasible.

Marcial said they're studying things, including play dates for the planned Season 45 Philippine Cup resumption.

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"If we play double-header or triple-header four or five days a week, we can finish the tournament in two months. Kung araw-araw, pwedeng one month and a half. Pero depende sa ating TV coveror," said Marcial.

But whatever, hopes are high the league can resume play now that they have started a calibrated return to practice. (SB)