The world-class facilities available here, as well as the safety of players and staff, were the paramount considerations that prompted the PBA board of governors to choose this Freeport as the official bubble venue for the upcoming PBA Governor’s Cup.
“Alam po ninyo, kaya nga po ito ginawa sa Clark dahil mataas ang confidence ng PBA, ng ating board of governors, ni commissioner Willie Marcial – mataas ang confidence nila na kaya po nating i-preserve yung integrity ng bubble dito sa Clark because of the advantages we have logistically,” NLEX Road Warriors Coach Joseller “Yeng” Guiao said in an interview by a local regional TV network in Central Luzon.
Guiao, a Pampanga native, cited Clark’s top three main advantages that made this Freeport the best choice – security, proximity and accommodation – which can all be provided to all the players, crew and staff for the entirety of the bubble set-up, by the Quest Hotel.
Testing facilities and swabbing booths are also readily available in the Freeport, including top hospitals such as The Medical City Clark and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Medical Center that are also strategically located here.
Guiao also thanked Clark Development Corporation (CDC) President-CEO Noel F. Manankil and Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) President-CEO Vivencio “Vince” B. Dizon for their full support when PBA included Clark as a possible PBA bubble site for the 45th season of the country’s professional basketball league.
“Pasalamatan po natin dito si President ng Clark (CDC), si Noel Manankil na talagang pinaghandaan po nila especially si Vince Dizon (BCDA). Si Vince po, siya mismo ang nag-present noong proposal ng Clark doon sa PBA board so that’s how interested they are. Ganoon sila ka-ganado, ganoon sila ka-interesado na madala itong PBA bubble sa Clark,” Guiao said.
Guiao was also asked how the transportation was arranged for all 12 teams in terms of transferring them to practice venues.
“These are exclusive buses – exclusively for separate teams. Pati yung mga bus driver, included yan sa bubble so hindi rin sila lumalabas, hindi talaga mahahaluan yan ng mga galing sa labas,” Guiao answered.
He also mentioned how convenient it is for the players to stay within Clark premises: “Within Clark, may mga in-identify na po silang mga practice facilities. Pero ganunpaman, kung kulang pa po yan, I think they’re willing to set up yung nakita rin po natin sa NBA – yung mga ballroom ng malalaking hotel nilagyan po nila ng basketball court.”
The restart of the PBA season will be on Oct. 9, 2020 which will be seen via live streaming and television by “virtual fans” or “virtual audience.”
The tournament will be held at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) gym in Angeles City at 4 pm for the first game and 8 pm for the second game, seven times a week.