Ilocos Norte is offering to host the upcoming Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 46 Philippine Cup under a bubble setup, said Commissioner Willie Marcial.

/ 21 April 2021

Marcial had received the offer from the provincial government through Governor Matthew Manotoc and already had talked last week regarding the staging of the bubble together with Perry Martinez, head of the Metro Ilocos Norte Council.

Nagpapasalamat ako kay Governor Matthew at sinabi ko na sa kanya lahat ng kundisyon,” said Marcial during the press briefing on Tuesday.

Previous season host Clark, Pampanga will not be able to host the entire league delegation as it will be the venue for the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in June, coinciding with the schedule of PBA.

“Clark would have been our first option as host of another bubble but there’s the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers that will coincide with our tournament set in late May or early June,” said Marcial.

The delayed season of the league was initially planned to be staged at Ynares Center in Antipolo City under a closed-circuit arrangement.

However, the plan was called off when the National Capital Region (NCR), Rizal, Bulacan, and Cavite was put on Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) starting March 29.

According to Marcial, Rizal Government through Governor Jun Ynares is committed to hosting the PBA games under any set-up once government restrictions are eased and have approval from the IATF.

So yun ang dalawang LGUs na handing tumulong sa atin,” said Marcial.

Despite receiving offers from two local governments, the priority of the league at the moment is to have the entire PBA family to be vaccinated for the season to push through even not being under a bubble setup as long as allowed by the IATF.

Ang direksyon ng PBA as of now is the vaccine, pero hindi namin sinasara yung bubble,” bared PBA board vice chairman Bobby Rosales.