The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is looking to make SMART Araneta Coliseum the home of the 2022 Governors’ Cup resumption.
Chairman Ricky Vargas disclosed that the league hopes to continue the season-ending meet in just one venue instead of transferring to another — a predicament that the league has gotten into in the last conferences.
“We continue to work on closing the venue and being able to have just one venue and strengthen our relationship with Araneta Coliseum,” he told Radyo5’s Power and Play with former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala, Saturday.
“Hopefully, we can arrive at an agreement that Araneta will be our permanent venue — at least, for this Governors’ Cup. Malaking tulong ‘yun kung hindi kami palipat-lipat, ‘no,” furthered the TNT Tropang Giga governor.
The PBA returned to the Big Dome last December 15 and has played games there since, until Metro Manila’s revert to Alert Level 3 due to rising COVID-19 cases led to the tournament’s pause until further notice.
This situation is a déjà vu of sorts for the league. It could be remembered that the 2021 Philippine Cup got stopped for a few weeks, as the capital got placed under the much stricter Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Back then, games were initially held at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig. But the resumption was staged in Pampanga in a semi-bubble set-up, with matches played at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor.
Will the PBA return to another bubble, or wait until the surge eases? For Vargas, what’s really important for the league is the safety of everyone involved.
The amiable executive bared that some of their people, from players to referees, have contracted the virus. He did not divulge further details regarding such, although he said that they are recovering ‘very well.’
“Sa totoo lang, marami ring natamaan na players natin at saka referees ng COVID,” said Vargas. “But they’re recovering very well.
“While we could have started earlier, we also want to make it safe for everybody. But we can’t continue to give exciting games kasi kung may kasamang takot na nasa isip nila, ang problema nun is we will have a half-hearted game.”
The second game of each playdate is also livestreamed on SMART Sports.