The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) gears up for an action-packed Season 48, setting the stage for captivating events that keep basketball fans on their toes.
Commissioner Willie Marcial unveiled the league’s calendar of activities during a Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum held at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex conference hall.
The eagerly anticipated season kickstarts with the regular rookie draft scheduled for September 17 at Ayala Malls Market! Market!, setting the tone for an exhilarating series of events. A highlight on the calendar is the Draft Combine, which occurs at the Gatorade Hoops on September 12 and 13, where emerging talents will showcase their skills before the new season.
Adding a touch of community engagement, a fun run is slated for September 24 at Bridgetown estate in Pasig, emphasizing the PBA’s commitment to fostering camaraderie beyond the court. The league’s formal press conference is scheduled for October 10, offering a platform for crucial announcements and insights ahead of the action-packed season.
A significant date for basketball enthusiasts to mark on their calendars is October 12, designated as Media Day. It’s a chance for media representatives to interact with players, coaches, and league officials, providing a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse into the upcoming season’s dynamics.
The pinnacle of the preseason activities culminates with the opening of the Commissioner’s Cup, set to take place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on October 15. The Commissioner’s Cup promises to deliver riveting matchups, introducing a height ceiling of 6-foot-9 and below for the imported players. An exciting addition is the return of the Bay Area Dragons, last year’s runner-up to Barangay Ginebra, adding an extra layer of competition to the league.
Fans can also anticipate international flair, as several games are slated to take place in Hong Kong, home to the Bay Area Dragons. Commissioner Marcial shared insights about the plans, saying, “We will have three games in Hong Kong, and teams are lined up to play. While I can’t reveal the exact details at the moment, I can say we are about 80 percent sure about it.” The league’s venture beyond local shores aims to showcase the PBA’s appeal to a wider audience.
Following the success of the preseason “On Tour” games held in various provinces, the season will also witness the continuation of out-of-town matches. Around 15 provinces have expressed interest in hosting PBA games, a testament to the league’s far-reaching popularity. However, Commissioner Marcial emphasized the need to approach this expansion carefully, stating, “We will take it step by step and evaluate each offer.”
Amidst the bustling schedule, the PBA reaffirms its unwavering support for Gilas Pilipinas’ journey in the FIBA World Cup and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Commissioner Marcial expressed the league’s commitment to the national team’s campaign, highlighting that the selection of players is still in progress. “Our support for Gilas in the Asian Games remains strong. We’re in discussion with Coach Chot Reyes regarding the final lineup,” he stated.
With Season 48 on the horizon, basketball enthusiasts can look forward to an exhilarating mix of competitive games, community engagement, and international showcases. The PBA’s dynamic calendar sets the stage for another remarkable season, capturing the hearts and attention of fans across the Philippines and beyond.