Di­zon keys PBA restart

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - SPORTS - BY BEA MICALLER @tri­bunephl_bea

Up­lift­ing the morale of a coun­try bat­tered by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic was the main ob­jec­tive of Vince Di­zon in help­ing the Philip­pine Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (PBA) restart its sea­son. Di­zon, the deputy chief im­ple­menter of the na­tional task force COVID-19, helped in spear­head­ing the restart of the 45th sea­son of the PBA so it could bring back a sem­blance of nor­malcy and re­vive the coun­try’s ail­ing econ­omy.

“I am in­volved in the na­tional task force against COVID-19 and, as of now, our di­rec­tion is to­wards grad­u­ally re­open­ing our econ­omy,” said Di­zon in an in­ter­view with Sports Page late Mon­day. “And we thought that what bet­ter sym­bol of try­ing to get back to nor­mal — or new nor­mal as they say — was restart­ing the most im­por­tant pas­time in the Philip­pines, which is bas­ket­ball.”

True enough, Di­zon played a key role in the re­turn of the PBA. In fact, he was in­stru­men­tal in rais­ing the idea of bring­ing the league’s bub­ble con­cept in Clark Freeport Zone in Pam­panga through his ca­pac­ity as pres­i­dent and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of the Bases Con­ver­sion De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (BCDA).

We had our pre­sen­ta­tion be­fore the PBA board of gover­nors and we showed that Clark City is a very vi­able lo­ca­tion for the PBA bub­ble.

Aside from help­ing the league se­cure hefty dis­counts from the ho­tel, com­pe­ti­tion venue and other sup­pli­ers, the BCDA, through Di­zon, would also cover the coro­n­avirus test­ing, lo­gis­tics, trans­porta­tion and se­cu­rity for the 350-man del­e­ga­tion that would en­ter the bub­ble start­ing 27 Septem­ber un­til mid-De­cem­ber.

Af­ter all, Clark has the med­i­cal fa­cil­ity, par­tic­u­larly its molec­u­lar lab­o­ra­tory and a very ser­vice­able hos­pi­tal in The Med­i­cal City. Di­zon said the former Amer­i­can mil­i­tary base is an ideal place to restart the league since it has very re­li­able se­cu­rity, well-rounded fa­cil­i­ties, ameni­ties and in­fra­struc­ture per­fect for pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball play­ers.

“We had our pre­sen­ta­tion be­fore the PBA board of gover­nors and we showed that Clark City is a very vi­able lo­ca­tion for the PBA bub­ble,” said Di­zon, who also hosted the 30th South­east Asian Games at the New Clark City.

“Num­ber one, it is very se­cure and num­ber two, we can pro­vide fa­cil­i­ties, in­fra­struc­ture, health care fa­cil­i­ties and leisure ac­tiv­i­ties. We are con­fi­dent that we can pro­vide a safe bub­ble.”

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