Monday, October 18, 2021

Subic sets 'bubble' for FilBasket inaugural tourney

THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will require a sports bubble set-up for the Filipino Basketball League (Filbasket), an upcoming amateur basketball confederation, which is awaiting approval for its inaugural play-off here.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the “bubble” concept, which isolates players and organizers from the public, will be implemented for the tournament because it is a proven safety measure for various events here in Subic.

“The sports bubble has worked here in Subic and with this, we have successfully hosted the 2021 Gatorade-PSL Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup last February and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) playoffs last March,” Eisma explained. “With the continuing risks from Covid-19, we need to ensure the health and safety of the participants, organizers and even the locals who would interact with the visitors; that’s why we always insist on a bubble.”

Eisma issued the statement after FilBasket League Commissioner Jai Reyes confirmed that the inaugural tournament will be held in the Subic Bay Freeport and not in Batangas that is still under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Subic is under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

According to Reyes, league organizers are just waiting for the go signal from the SBMA and the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) to hold the event.

Eisma said that the safety protocols under the FilBasket bubble will be the same as that of the previous sporting events held here: players and organizers, as well as the league’s dedicated media team, will be isolated in hotels, with access only to the tournament venue, and all had to undergo a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test upon arrival.

“There will be no live audience watching the games, as the tournament will be broadcast by television,” she added.

FilBasket, which was founded by two-time UAAP champion Jai Reyes of Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards (MPBL), will have 11 amateur teams competing in the inaugural tournament.

The teams will play for a single round-robin elimination match-up from which the top four teams will qualify for the semifinals round. The winners in the semis will square off for the championship. (Ric Sapnu)


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