By Nick Giongco
CLARKFIELD, Pampanga–The media exposure given to the premier government-owned sports facilities in the 30th Southeast Asian Games — the Philsports in Pasig and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila — has prompted the country’s big leagues to inquire about long-term leases.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC ) deputy executive director Guillermo Iroy told the Manila Bulletin on Monday that even the Philippine Basketball Association has reached out to the PSC and inquired about using it to host games next year.
“They all saw that our facilities have been upgraded,” said Iroy, noting how the televised events and photos that were published of volleyball, taekwondo, gymnastics and weightlifting made a lasting impression on the public.
Aside from the PBA, the Asean Basketball League, the Philippine Volleyball League, UAAP and NCAA as well as big corporations have made their intentions to rent these refurbished venues.
Iroy said the accessibility and ample parking available are reasons behind the rise in inquiries.
The Rizal Coliseum, NAS and Philsports were repaired and furnished with new features six months ago initially to serve as backup sites for the SEAG.
The decision to subject them to rehabilitation proved to be best thing the PSC did as they all passed the test and pleased even the most discriminating spectators.
The Philsports, popularly known as Ultra, used to be the home of the PBA back in the ’90s.