The Philippine Sports Joint Administrative Order has decided to continue with bubble play despite the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines. The administrative group consists of the Philippine Sports Association, Games and Amusement Board, and the Department of Health.
The Game and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Abram Mitra told his colleagues that sports league and training camps would continue operating in a bubble because they don’t want accidents to happen. He stressed how playing outside of a bubble could affect the players and their families and that he doesn’t want sports to be blamed.
Three leagues successfully competed inside their bubbles last year; the Philippines Basketball Association (PBA), Philippine Football League (PFL), and the Chooks-to-go 3×3 basketball league. The newly professional Premier Volleyball League (PVL) will also start inside a bubble in 2021.
Philippine athletes have already been prioritized for the vaccine, with Olympic athletes participating in the 2021 Tokyo games at the top of the list. The Philippine Olympic Committee recently announced that Enrique Razon, a Philippine billionaire, would be bringing 20 million doses of the Moderna vaccine (mRNA-1273) to the Philippines.
According to Business World, Filipinos may still be under lockdown after the vaccine has rolled out. Health officials are preparing to lift lockdown regulations after the vaccine takes effect and cases worldwide begin to decline.
For now, legal betting on Philippine sports has stalled as leagues prepare to resume safely in 2021, but there are still other sports from around the world with betting lines, including the NBA and NCAAB March Madness.
While sports bubbles and fans’ absence might affect the gameplay, betting lines and payouts will remain the same. We look forward to the year to come and hope to enjoy professional sports however they resume.