Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

MANILA, Philippines—The PBA sent out a strong warning against lockdown protocol violators inside the planned bubble in Clark, Pampanga.

League Commissioner Willie Marcial said Thursday that players who will be caught violating the health and lockdown protocols will be suspended for a month without salary from their respective teams, fined P100,000, and banned for five games the following season.

Despite being based in the NBA model, the PBA won’t allow its players to return to the bubble if they leave even for family reasons.

“What is important here is that we have looked, studied, and reviewed the bubble protocols that we intend to implement and we really expect strict compliance with the bubble,” said PBA Vice-Chairman Bobby Rosales.

“As I said, strict compliance will be expected. The commissioner will issue the guidelines, the measures, and the rules to be followed strictly in the bubble. Violation will be dealt with accordingly by the Office of the Commissioner and their respective teams.”

The PBA is still waiting for the approval of Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases for the planned bubble scheduled for October 9.

The league expects the delegation to arrive on September 26 then followed by scrimmages the day

Around 350 people are expected to live at Quest Hotel inside Clark including the players, league officials, referees, media, and personnel with buses designated to each team to ferry them to the practice facility and the game venue at Angeles University Foundation.

To help players relax during the bubble, the PBA will grant access to a golf course, water sports facilities, and indoor sports such as billiards and table tennis.

The league will also condense the Philippine Cup into 49 game days with a two-a-day setup for seven days a week with a champion getting crowned by mid-December.

San Miguel’s victory over Magnolia in the opening day of the season will be carried over.

The top four teams will have twice-to-beat advantages in the quarterfinals with the ensuing semis being a five-game series and the championship round going the full seven games.

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