PBA now eyeing April 18 start of Antipolo 'closed circuit' PH Cup

The Ynares Center in Antipolo is now the planned venue for the upcoming PBA "semi-bubble". Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The PBA is now looking at the possibility of holding the season opening Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said earlier this month that the league is considering to hold a closed circuit type of tournament at an arena in Metro Manila.

In the said "semi-bubble", the players and team officials are to strictly follow a home-arena-home travel format. 

But with the COVID-19 cases spiking again especially in the province, which could likely put its chances to be placed in the lightest quarantine level in jeopardy, he said that they are now looking to bring the season to Rizal instead.

Marcial added that he has been in constant communication with Antipolo's local government to discuss the setup, which will still need to be approved by the Games and Amusements Board, the Philippine Sports Commission, and the Department of Health.

GAB has long been insisting to hold professional sports matches inside a full bubble.

Meanwhile, he also said that the season opening might be pushed back for a few more days as the league is still waiting the approval for the teams to finally play scrimmages.

The plan now is to begin the PBA season by April 18.

This means the recently drafted rookies have an extra week to get along with their new teammates and coaches.

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