Puerto Rico Basketball League bets on the 'bubble' format

The global crisis continues to awaken the creativity of international competitions to survive with their original calendars .

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The basketball league in Puerto Rico is preparing to end the season in a 'bubble'. / Photo: Pexels

LatinamericanPost| Onofre Zambrano

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Leer en español: Liga de baloncesto de Puerto Rico le apuesta al formato ‘burbuja’

The Puerto Rico Basketball League established to end its 2020 campaign under the bubble format, an alternative to be able to comply with the edition and safeguard the public from possible infections. The NBA, considered the best league in the world, has done it successfully and in this small Caribbean nation, they want to follow the example of a country that they tend to emulate culturally.

The event is designed to end in a month and a half (six weeks) in conditioned spaces within a hotel complex and with the participation of the ten teams that play in said league, namely, Santeros de Aguada, Capitanes de Arecibo, Vaqueros de Bayamón , Cariduros from Fajardo, Brujos from Guayama, Mets from Guaynabo, Leones from Ponce, Pirates from Quebradillas, Indians from Mayagüez, and Atléticos from San Germán.


The initiative was announced through a statement from the league, which reads "the National Superior Basketball (BSN) held a meeting of its Governing Board, in which it approved the initiative leading to formally begin preparations in a format of 'bubble', with a tentative start date in the month of November " , reflected Basquetplus.

The National Superior Basketball (BNS) added in said statement that "the 10 teams will play 45 regular season games in a single section, with eight teams advancing to the postseason." Which, from a priori analysis, seems like a risk, due to the little time available for such an extensive calendar.

The postseason will consist of three phases, quarterfinals to a maximum of three games (win 2), while the semifinals and final will be played to the best of five games (win 3). Monday and Tuesday will be off while from Wednesday to Sunday the games will be at 3, 6 and 9 pm. The calendar with names will be communicated the first days of October.

How will they do it?

The former player and president of the BSN, Ricardo Dalmau, had already advanced in June that the bubble was a very feasible scenario, but it was already formally decided after the meeting on August 18 between directors of the Governing Board.

The resumption of this tournament could take place shortly before November 15 and would have the final weeks of the year as the closing date. The first thing that will be carried out will be to host all the players in a 5-star hotel (not yet established), with two courts, and modules for conducting regular Covid-19 tests before entering the bubble, as well as molecular tests every monday.

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Of course, the first condition for players will be the acceptance of a 25% cut in their salaries, as well as that of all those involved in the tournament. The matches will be transmitted by streaming and whoever enters the bubble will not be able to leave until the end of the tournament, as a sine qua non condition.

Dalmau had already been clear in the first instance. “In this type of event,  canceling is not an alternative, but we continue working. We are aware that as time goes by, the possibilities are reduced , "according to ESPN.

The position of the BSN

“We are going to wait and see what happens. Here we have worked hard and as time went by, other possibilities were reduced ”, Dalmau reacted to El Vocero. The BSN will also work on a security protocol under the advice of Arnaldo Claudio, former federal police monitor and former colonel of the United States Army.

The leader continued, pointing out that “the group continues to work and we have been very consistent in the way we carry out the process. The purpose is to try to bring an environment and provide our fans with a quality alternative without putting them at risk and maintaining the principle that health safety is not negotiable ”.

Government entities such as the Department of Health, the Department of Recreation and Sports (DRD) and the Department of Economic Development, authorized the action plan for the return to competition through the granting of tax credits initially managed by the BSN.