PBA tackles 45th season in Milan

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    MILAN. — Matters concerning Gilas Pilipinas and other vital issues will be discussed when PBA governors hold their annual planning session for the league’s 45th season here.

    Members of the board and Commissioner Willie Marcial arrived in the Italian capital of Lombardy late Tuesday after a 16-hour trip from Manila for the three-day meeting that will tackle the approval and mechanics of the first 3×3 draft in the league, format for the season, and the scheduling of the games for the entire year in the light of the national team’s campaign in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifying windows.

    Board chairman Ricky Vargas is set to arrive on Wednesday along with Meralco board representative Al S. Panlilio to complete the delegation that also includes key PBA officials led by legal counsel Atty. Melvin Mendoza. Panlilio is also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

    Members of the board who arrived with Marcial are Vice Chairman Bobby Rosales of Columbian Dyip, treasurer Siliman Sy of Blackwater, San Miguel’s Robert Non, Rod Franco of NLEX, Alaska’s Richard Bachmann, Atty. Mamerto Mondragon of Rain or Shine, Rene Pardo of Magnolia, Atty. Raymond Zorilla of Phoenix, and NorthPort’s Eric Arejola, and Barangay Ginebra’s Alfrancis Chua.

    Topping the agenda is again adjusting the schedule of the league for the entire season to give way to the country’s campaign in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers whose first window will be held from Feb. 20 and 23. A permanent Gilas coach will likely be tackled as well following the SBP’s appointment of Mark Dickel as interim mentor for the qualifiers.

    The just concluded season was one of the longest in PBA history, its schedule tweaked several times to help Gilas prepare for its campaign in the FIBA World Cup and the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

    The league is looking to incorporate the 3×3 tournament in the playing calendar this year, hopefully by the second week of April. PBA players represented the Gilas 3×3 men’s team that won the inaugural gold in the last SEA Games.

    Likewise in the agenda are possible changes in league rules, hosting of out of town games, the All-Star weekend, and possibly holding another game outside of the country just like the one the league held in Dubai last November.