PBA team reps meet with Marcial, voice preference for bubble set-up

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial presides over a meeting with player representatives from each of the 12 PBA teams at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City. PBA Media Group

PBA players would rather be situated in a bubble once the 2020 PBA season resumes than stick to the closed-circuit concept currently implemented in team workouts, commissioner Willie Marcial said.

Marcial met with player representatives from each team Wednesday afternoon. At the meeting, the players said how they felt safer to settle in one site rather than to go back and forth from their homes to venues.

"May tatlo akong bubble: 'yung NBA bubble, 'yung semi-bubble at 'yung closed-circuit na ginagawa nila. Sinuggest nila na tanggalin daw 'yung closed-circuit. Gusto talaga nila semi-bubble or bubble talaga. Huwag na daw 'yung closed-circuit," Marcial said.

In a full bubble concept, teams will be placed in one area that already has the courts, practice areas, gyms and hotel accommodation. A semi-bubble will house all players and team personnel in one hotel but will require everyone to travel to another venue for the games.

"Para safe, kasi uuwi sila ng bahay noon eh. 'Yung closed-circuit bubble na 'yun, venue-to-home na ginagawa natin sa practices ngayon, kung pwede huwag na daw 'yon."

Teams were "well-represented in the meeting" with Alaska's Vic Manuel, Barangay Ginebra's LA Tenorio, Blackwater's Mac Belo, Magnolia's Marc Pingris, Meralco's Reynel Hugnatan, NLEX's Asi Taulava, NorthPort's Sean Anthony, Phoenix's Matthew Wright, Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood, San Miguel's Alex Cabagnot, Terra Firma's Rashawn McCarthy and TNT KaTropa's Jayson Castro all present.

Players also floated other suggestions and expressed willingness to resume the suspended Philippine Cup, according to Marcial.

"Mga nitty-gritty details na lang sa accomodation. Marami silang suggestions pero maliliit na bagay na lang 'yon," he said.

"Pero lahat sila willing to play. Walang nagsabi na ayaw nila maglaro," he added. "Lahat sila willing sa goal na sinabi ko. October 9 ang target ko [na resumption]. Titingnan natin ang scrimmages kung papayagan sa Manila or outside Manila. Pinakita ko lahat ng scenarios na pwede mangyari," he said.

Marcial said he will present the players' suggestions to the Board of Governors in a meeting tomorrow beginning 12 noon. The league will decide in the same meeting the final venue, conference format and schedule for the planned season restart next month.