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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is eyeing a sports “bubble” set-up for the inaugural Filipino Basketball League (Filbasket) tournament, an upcoming amateur basketball confederation that awaiting approval for its inaugural play-off here.

The “bubble” concept, which isolates players and organizers from the public, will be implemented for the tournament because it is a proven safety measure for various events here in Subic, according to SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma.

The sports bubble has worked here in Subic and with this we have successfully hosted the 2021 Gatorade-PSL Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup last February and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) playoffs last March,” Eisma explained.

With the continuing risks from COVID-19, we need to ensure the health and safety of the participants, organizers, and even the locals who would interact with the visitors, that’s why we always insist on a bubble,” she added.

Eisma issued the statement after FilBasket League commissioner Jai Reyes confirmed that the inaugural tournament will be held in the Subic Bay Freeport and not in Batangas, which is still under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Subic is under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

According to Reyes, league organizers are just waiting for the go-signal from the SBMA and the Regional Interagency Task Force (RIATF) to hold the event.  

Eisma said that the safety protocols under the FilBasket bubble will be the same as that of the previous sporting events held here: players and organizers, as well as the league’s dedicated media team, will be isolated in hotels, with access only to the tournament venue, and all had to undergo a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test upon arrival.

There will be no live audience watching the games, as the tournament will be broadcast by television,” she added.

FilBasket, founded by two-time UAAP champion Jai Reyes of the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards (MPBL), will have 11 amateur teams competing in the inaugural tournament.

The teams will play for a single round-robin elimination match-up from which the top four teams will qualify for the semifinals round. The winners in the semis will square off for the championship.

PHOTO:

The Subic Gym, the venue for the upcoming Filipino Basketball League inaugural games.

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