February 25, 2018, 7:32 am
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5 out-of-town games slated in season 43

THE PBA Board has yet to get its act together, but the league’s groundwork for the coming season, at least in the first conference, are already in place. 

From the opening day offering to out-of-town games, the schedule is almost full for the four-month-long Philippine Cup that kicks off next Sunday, Dec. 17, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

According to an insider, the PBA Commissioner’s Office staff is simply doing its job of laying down the foundation for the season, the league’s 43rd.

“Para once na naayos na iyung gulo sa Board, minor kinks na lang ang aayusin para sa Philippine Cup and then for the rest of the season,” the source told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.

“The staff is working on the assumption na maaayos din ang lahat.”

There is currently an unresolved dispute within the PBA Board with seven members wanting to oust Commissioner Chito Narvasa, a move blocked by five other teams.

Eight votes are needed to either terminate or retain Narvasa, thus resulting in an impasse that is now on its fifth week.

The Philippine Cup schedule is at least done with.

An opening day game between defending champion San Miguel Beer and either NLEX or Phoenix is already set following the usual glittering opening ceremonies.

The tournament runs until March with five out-of-town games set in the cities of Iloilo, Dagupan, Davao, Legazpi and Dumaguete.

Prior to the spat within their ranks, the team governors approved the format that led to the successful staging of the Commissioner’s and Governors’ Cups last year.

The imports’ height limit is pegged at 6-foot-10 for the Commissioner’s Cup and 6-5 in the Governors Cup.

Some breaks have already been set for all three conferences to give way to the country’s participation in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers and in the tournament proper of the said tournament next year in China. 

All three tourneys feature a single-round-robin elimination phase, with the best eight teams advancing to the playoffs. Each team will play a minimum of 33 games in the season.

In both the all-Filipino and Commissioner’s Cup, the top two gain a twice-to-beat advantage versus the bottom two in the quarterfinals. The four middle teams, meanwhile, figure in a pair of best-of-three quarterfinals showdowns.

In the Governors Cup, the top four will all enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarters versus the next four. It’s No. 1 versus No. 8, No. 2 opposite No. 7, No.3 against No. 6 and No. 4 versus No. 5.

Also approved in principle is another three-leg All-Star event like last year with the PBA playing the Luzon game in Batangas and the Mindanao tiff in Davao. Still up for bidding is the hosting right for the Visayas.
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