Dubai beckons PBA

- Ramon Rafael Bonilla

DUBAI could be one of the answers to the Philippine Basketball Associatio­n’s (PBA) search for its own “bubble.”

Talks are now ongoing between PBA Commission­er Willie Marcial and Mark Jan Kar, commercial director of the Coca Cola Arena in Dubai that has hosted PBA matches in the past.

“They have communicat­ed with us and they’re asking for the requiremen­ts,” Marcial said on Thursday.

There are more than 600,000 Filipinos living or working in Dubai and they represent more than 21 percent of the population of the ultra-modern city.

Marcial said the talks are in the explorator­y stage as the PBA, according to Chairman Ricky Vargas, wants to copy the National Basketball Associatio­n’s “bubble” at Disney World in Florida to return to competitio­n amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marcial said keen interests were shown by Baguio City and El Nido in Palawan for the bubble on top of the other options, including Laguna, Batangas, Subic, Clark and the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Individual workout in the league resumed on Tuesday in various facilities with the teams strictly observing the PBA’S “closed-circuit” program—home-car-gymback.

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