WHEN the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. put up a list of affected personnel who would receive an aid package last year, I was surprised at the number of people directly and indirectly affected by the league cancellation. Aside from players and officials, those affected included janitors, security guards and ticket personnel.
But, come to think of it, the number of people whose livelihood is connected to a sports event is even greater. There are the uniform manufacturers, the hotel owners, food caterers and those who sell their wares to the audience. All of them haven’t earned anything since games in Cebu City were cancelled at the height of the coronavirus pandemic 11 months ago.
All businesses, of course, have been affected but Cebu City Councilor Dondon Hontiveros wants to throw a lifeline to the Cebu sports industry by encouraging the holding of bubble tournaments in the city. The Pilipinas VisMin Cup was supposed to be held at the Cebu Coliseum but that was canceled after the number of Covid cases grew exponentially.
In his Cebu City Sports Bubble ordinance, Hontiveros is encouraging the holding of sports bubbles in Cebu City. Of course, some may think that’s not a good idea, considering that cases are nearing the high numbers the city used to have at the height of the pandemic.
But it’s going to be a bubble, the people involved will be tested regularly and will be kept isolated. And mind you, this is only for professionals since under the IATF rules, only pro leagues are allowed to resume play. So the target participants for the Cebu Sports Bubble are limited to the PBA, Super Liga and boxing. We could have included the MPBL but, unfortunately, the second most popular pro basketball league in the country still thinks it is an amateur league.
So I hope the pro leagues will consider taking up Honteviros offer.
Or if none of them are up to it, maybe Cebu City can host its own pocket bubble tournaments. A pro beach volleyball one-week event, or an invitational three-on-three involving pro teams perhaps?
It may not be much, but it would be a lifeline to a few whose livelihood has been put on hold for almost a year now.