The National Basketball League (NBL) Pilipinas is planning an 11-day bubble for the completion of its Season 3 Black Arrow Express-President’s Cup.
Under its 50-page comprehensive plan, the bubble will be held at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga where the eight playoff teams will be housed under strict health guidelines.
The bubble was made possible through the support of governor Dennis Pineda, who also owns the province’s NBL-Pilipinas team Pampanga Delta.
As part of its stringent health protocols, all the players and essential personnel of the eight teams will undergo COVID-19 tests and will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Only players aged 21 and above will be allowed to play in the bubble.
Before the teams enter the bubble, the league will strictly enforce and supervise a slow but safe return to training and competition.
NBL-Pilipinas chairman Soy Mercado said the league for homegrown talents is taking a proactive approach in the event that contact sports can resume during the pandemic.
Mercado added that NBL-Pilipinas commissioner John Edward Aquino and executive vice president Rhose Montreal have reached out to Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and other government agencies to present its bubble concept.
“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,” said Mercado.
Defending champion Taguig Generals are one of the eight teams that are still in contention for the Season 3 title. Other teams who will compete in the bubble, if given clearance by the government, are the Pampanga Delta, La Union Paower, CamSur Express, inaugural season titlist Parañaque Aces, Nueva Ecija Bespren, Muntinlupa Emeralds, and Pasig El Pirata.
Founded in 2018, NBL-Pilipinas offers a unique format in which only players aged 18 to 29 from their locality can play for their province, city, or municipality, allowing homegrown talents to be exposed and be a complimentary league to the PBA and the MPBL.