Northbound Philippines News

NBL eyeing Pampanga bubble to finish President’s Cup

MANILA — The National Basketball League (NBL) is considering a bubble just to finish its postponed third season amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

On Thursday, the league bared the plan after revealing that it has accomplished a 50-page comprehensive set of protocols that the teams will follow amid the pandemic.

The bubble will run for 11 days and will take place at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando City, Pampanga.

To ensure the health and safety of the players and team staff, everyone will undergo Covid-19 testing and a 14-day self-quarantine.

As part of the quarantine rules set by the national government, only players aged 21 and above will be allowed to play.

The teams will also undergo “a slow but safe return to training and competition” strictly enforced by the NBL.

NBL Pilipinas chairman Soy Mercado said that NBL Commissioner Edward Aquino and executive vice president Rhose Montreal have already proposed the said plan to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and other government agencies.

The NBL was already in its playoff phase when play was halted due to Covid-19.

The Pampanga Delta, the designated host of the bubble, defending champions Taguig Generals, inaugural winner Paranaque Aces, La Union PAOwer, CamSur Express, Nueva Ecija Bespren, Muntinlupa Emeralds, and Pasig El Pirata are the teams still vying for the title and will enter the bubble.

With the league still currently amateur in nature, the NBL is awaiting the clearance needed for it to push through, but it has already reached out to the Games and Amusements Board regarding its intent to turn professional.

“NBL Pilipinas is determined to name a champion for our third season, but we will abide by the government’s directives on the conduct of contact sports in the country,” Mercado said. PNA –

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