Mendoza: Why not Batangas for Season 46?

Al Mendoza
·2 min read

Now they are listening. Leave Manila and scout for battlefields not virus-visited that much.

“They are very willing to host us,” said Willie Marcial. “It will help us get on track for a possible opening in June.”

Marcial, the usually quiet but courageous commissioner of the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association), refers to Batangas City in Batangas province as the one “very willing to host us.”

He speaks from the heart. He was born in Batangas City.

But the southern city past scenic and world-famed Taal Volcano isn’t for PBA games, but for team practice—initially.

Good enough. I’m pretty sure the government will allow Marcial’s pitch as Batangas City isn’t part of Covid-19’s line of sight.

Not to brag but that has always been my position since Metro Manila and the four provinces surrounding it (Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan) were declared no-tournament zones to avoid crowds that serve as magnets for contagion.

Meaning, the PBA should get out of the metropolis and its immediate environs. Always, there are other places out of harm’s way that are worthy of consideration.

And, yes, whatever happened to venues in the PBA’s out-of-town sorties? Like Lucena in Quezon, Calasiao in Pangasinan, Laoag in Ilocos Norte, and many more, including in the Visayas and Mindanao?

Explore them, guys.

With a little imagination, one of them might yet be the season saver. And why not Batangas for the PBA’s 46th season once and for all?

As I was also saying, we can aim for two conferences from June but if that’s not possible, then one conference should do it. Paramount always is to save the continuity of the loop that we’ve devotedly loved since its birth in 1975.

I remember year 1983, when the league teetered between life and death due to a gasping economy following the assassination of Ninoy Aquino at the airport tarmac.

But with an iron will, then PBA chairman Honeyboy Palanca didn’t surrender, steering the ship as Mr. Braveheart amid the storm.

Let us learn from that. From the agony and glory that has accompanied the league all these years, it’s worth giving it our all again to sidestep the pandemic. History judges harshly.