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NBL, WNBL move opening to Sunday in Pampanga

The Chooks-to-Go National Basketball League (NBL) Chairman’s Cup and the Sen. Pia Cayetano Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) have moved their opening from Saturday, July 17 to Sunday, July 18.

The opening rites and the games will take place at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.

The Bulacan DF Republicans and the Spartan Sulong STAN will clash in the NBL opener at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, the Glutagence Glow Boosters and the Pacific Water Queens collide at the start of the WNBL season at 4 p.m.

In a league memo, the NBL and WNBL stated that the Games and Amusements Board has designated Pampanga as the venue for the 2021 season, as an MGCQ area. The leagues are also making an appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to allow the league to play games in Bulacan.

League officials thanked GAB chairman Baham Mitra for its guidance that led to the NBL and WNBL getting the government clearance.

“GAB has always been there every step of the way, from helping us in creating the protocols, to the licensing of our players and coaches, as well as other matters. We thank them for their support,” said NBL/WNBL executive vice president Rhose Montreal.

In line with health protocols, the season will be played on a Home-Venue-Home set-up with audience strictly prohibited.

“Please be advised that we are moving our scheduled Opening Ceremonies and games from Saturday, July 17 to Sunday, July 18 to allow Pampanga and the league ample time to prepare.

“The Games and Amusements Board designated Pampanga as the venue of the NBL and WNBL Season 2021 as it is considered one of the least prone areas to COVID-19 transmission. With the challenges brought upon by the worldwide pandemic and with the interests of our players and teams in mind, NBL and WNBL Pilipinas is seeking your kind consideration to be open to our suggestions and changes which are really beyond the league’s control. The league is exhausting all means to fully comply with the health protocols set by the national government,” said the league in the memo.

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