Philippines, Sports, television

PBA to Open Season as Scheduled

The Philippine Arena will play host to the Manila Clasico between Ginebra and Magnolia this December 25. It hosted the last three games of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup to record crowds. (Photo credit: The Philippine Star)

Good news for PBA fans.

The Philippine Basketball Association will open its new season this Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. It will be highlighted by the customary opening ceremonies and the kickoff game between defending Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beermen and the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

Opening the new season is important for the league even as it endured the controversy surrounding commissioner Chito Narvasa. Globalport governor Mikee Romero made it clear about the PBA’s importance to the masses.

“Hindi pwedeng mawala ang PBA sa Pilipino, or ang Pilipino mawala sa PBA. That’s why we’re all here. I think we’re a very solid group at this point in time. Come December 17, as what we promised — [one] that did not come from me, [but] from all 12 teams.”

“Any internal problems or whatever that we have, we will deal with it internally, within ourselves, within the 12 of us. We don’t want to elaborate or any more matters. As we told you, this Sunday, what we should be watching are the players, the superstars of PH basketball. 43 years, ang masasabi ko lang, let the games begin.”

The PBA was coming off an otherwise successful 42nd season where the San Miguel Beermen ruled the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup, and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel won the Governors’ Cup. However, a controversial and disputed trade between the Beermen and Kia Picanto involving consensus top pick Christian Standhardinger led to chaos that took a month to resolve.

The opening of the 43rd PBA season will also benefit official broadcaster ESPN5 as well. Right after the PBA season opener, ESPN5 will premiere ‘SportsCenter Philippines’ as its leadout program, giving the latter a much-needed shot in the arm.

On December 25, the PBA will hold its annual Christmas Day games at the Philippine Arena, highlighted by the ‘Manila Clasico’ between Ginebra and Magnolia Hotshots (formerly the Star Hotshots). The rest of the league’s schedule will see the Philippine Cup last until March, followed by the Commissioner’s Cup from March to June, and the Governors’ Cup from June to September.

Let the games begin. Good luck.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

New PBA TV Setup for the Season

The PBA will have a new broadcast setup, with most games airing live on TV5 and some on AksyonTV and Fox Sports Asia.

The new PBA season got underway Sunday with a three-city slate. The Manila leg pitted the San Mig Coffee Mixers and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the ‘Manila Clasico‘ rivalry, while at the same time sibling rivals Meralco Bolts and Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters faced off in Cebu. And in Davao, the Alaska Aces took on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. All of that was preceded by the customary opening ceremonies that kicked off the new season.

This season a majority of the PBA games will be aired on TV5, with some on AksyonTV and cable network Fox Sports Asia. Under the new arrangement, the second or the ‘marquee’ game will be seen live on TV5 during weekdays and Saturdays, with the first game airing live on both AksyonTV and Fox Sports Asia. On Sundays both games of the doubleheader will be seen live on TV5.

This new arrangement was made so that TV5 can still air their weekday news and entertainment programs in the late afternoon/early evening slot. Most importantly, it enables the network to select the matchups that are more compelling and intense for the viewer-rich 8:00 p.m. slot. As such, the San Miguel franchises, Alaska, Talk N’ Text and Rain or Shine will be featured regularly in the evening game.

As for the first game of the weekday doubleheader, it will air live on AksyonTV (and presumably Fox Sports Asia) to satisfy basketball fans’ demands, with the replay airing on TV5 later in the evening. The new setup is considered a test broadcast for the PBA in hopes of bringing a more versatile television coverage in all platforms. Viewers may not agree on this considering the weaker signals on the UHF band and the expenses of cable subscription, but it should benefit the PBA in the long run.

This is already the third season of the PBA’s television contract with TV5, and expectations should rise a bit after the banner season of 2012-13. And with the new broadcast setup, expect great matchups and high-end basketball action in all platforms.

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