Vargas: PBA Clark bubble costs ‘close to P65 million’

PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines — Victorico “Ricky” Vargas shed more light on the Philippine Basketball Association’s ambitious plan to resuscitate a season that has been stalled for nearly seven months by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ll tell you, it’s close to P65 million that will cost us,” the league’s chair told Noli Eala in an episode of “Power & Play” Saturday morning.

The brunt of expenses will come from the delegates’ lodging and meals, according to Vargas who along with Commissioner Willie Marcial earlier politely declined in providing a ballpark figure for the compressed Philippine Cup set to be held across multiple sites in the Clark Freeport Zone.

The tournament will feature daily double-headers at the Angeles University Foundation’s school gym, a facility situated in a residential area, and is 20 minutes away from Quest Hotel, the designated quarters.

The soft-spoken executive also disclosed five key factors that helped in the Board of Governors’decision. The hunt for the venue of PBA’s reboot originally had 20 candidates.

“First, the safety. Do they have enough space for us to assure our safety? [Second], the medical facilities, and whether there strict protocols for entry and exit,” said Vargas.

“Number three was the cost… Then the facilities … for (the delegates’) well-being. And fifth was communication. There’s got to be connectivity because the games will be broadcast,” he added.

Both Vargas and Marcial hailed Vince Dizon and Noel Manankil for playing key roles in the negotiation.

Dizon, the president and chief executive officer of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, is also the national government’s deputy chief implementor for the country’s coronavirus response. He is also one of the administration’s “testing czars.”

The fee “could’ve been more than” P65 million, according to Vargas, adding that the league received plenty of

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‘Melrose Place’ actress headed back to prison for 2010 crash

Amy Locane Bovenizer entering the courtroom to be sentenced in Somerville, N.J. on Feb. 14, 2013. Image: Patti Sapone/NJ Advance Media via AP

A former “Melrose Place” actress who has already served a prison sentence for a fatal 2010 drunken driving crash in New Jersey is headed back behind bars after a judge agreed with prosecutors Thursday that her initial sentence was too lenient.

Saying Amy Locane still refuses to fully acknowledge her culpability in the crash that killed 60-year-old Helene Seeman and severely injured Seeman’s husband, state Superior Court Judge Angela Borkowski sentenced her to eight years in state prison.

Factoring in the more than two years she’s already served, she will be in prison for more than four years before she’s eligible for parole, her attorney, James Wronko, said.

Locane apologized to the Seeman family in a brief statement. She was placed in handcuffs and taken into custody by court deputies after the proceeding in state court in Somerville.

It was a startling development in a case that has bounced around the New Jersey court system for nearly a decade and has now featured four sentencings in front of three judges, plus numerous appeals.

Locane — who acted in 13 episodes of the popular 1990s Fox series and has also appeared in several movies — was convicted on several counts including vehicular manslaughter, and faced a sentencing range of five to 10 years on the most serious count. The state initially sought a seven-year sentence, but a trial judge sentenced her to three years in 2013. An appeals court ruled he misapplied the law, but at a resentencing, the same judge declined to give her additional time.

Last year, a different judge sentenced her to five years, but an appeals court ruled he didn’t follow guidelines it had

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Neymar to lead Brazil in World Cup qualifying

(FILES) This file photo taken on November 16, 2018 shows Brazil’s striker Neymar runing with the ball during the international friendly football match between Brazil and Uruguay at The Emirates Stadium in London. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Brazil coach Tite kept faith with a troubled Neymar on Friday, choosing him to lead the Selecao as they launch their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign next month.

Young Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes comes into the squad and could make his international debut while Real Madrid striker Rodrygo also returns.

The five-time world champions play Bolivia in Sao Paulo on October 9, then travel to Lima to face Peru four days later. The matches were originally scheduled for March, but were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The return to international play could be a welcome break for Neymar, who has had a tumultuous time since losing with the Champions League final with Paris Saint-Germain.

First he had to quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus and then, when he returned to action, was banned for two matches Wednesday for his role in a brawl at the end of PSG’s 1-0 loss to Marseille.

The French league is investigating the star striker’s claim that Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez taunted him with racist insults.

Neymar’s former PSG teammate Thiago Silva, who signed with Chelsea last month, also got the call from Tite, even though the center-back will be 37 by the time of the World Cup in Qatar.

But Tite dropped regular squad members including Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson.

He also held off calling up injured captain Dani Alves, 37, naming 19-year-old Gabriel Menino of Palmeiras instead.

Brazil were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Belgium in the 2018 World Cup.


Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool/ENG), Santos (Athletico Paranaense) Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Danilo (Juventus/ITA), Gabriel

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