Philippines, Sports, television

FTT Rants: PBA Postpones Ginebra-Rain or Shine Game 2, But Makes Foolish Move

Talk about an unexpected postponement in the heat of the moment.

Game 2 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals between the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel was supposed to be played Tuesday night. Instead, severe monsoon rains caused by typhoon Henry forced the league to postpone the game for the sake of safety to the players, staff and spectators.

But rather than moving said game to later tonight, the PBA made a seemingly foolish decision. They decided to reschedule Game 2 of Ginebra-Rain or Shine to Thursday night, while keeping Game 3 of the Alaska Aces-San Miguel Beermen series to its original schedule.

Considering that the Beermen are up by two games over the Aces and on the verge of a sweep, it puts both Ginebra and Rain or Shine at a distinct disadvantage. Should the latter series go to a Game 5 next Wednesday and assuming San Miguel would in fact sweep Alaska tonight, the Beermen will have the luxury of rest while their opponent will head to the finals weary and exhausted.

Even if the San Miguel-Alaska series goes to a Game 5, the winner of said series will still have a longer break compared to its opponent. Game 5, if necessary, will be played Sunday.

If that is the case, the PBA is dead set on giving the Beermen an easier path to a second straight Commissioner’s Cup title and perhaps another opportunity to earn the elusive Grand Slam. In many ways, that would be bad for the league’s reputation.

Then again, though, Game 3 between Alaska and San Miguel is still in doubt. At the moment, the PBA has yet to make a decision regarding the game as they continue to observe the ongoing weather conditions.

If they postpone tonight’s game as well, it will be a win-win situation to all four teams. Maybe it’s for the best if they suspend Game 3 as well.

Ginebra is currently leading their semifinal series against Rain or Shine 1-0. As previously mentioned, San Miguel is one win away from the finals against Alaska.

In the meantime, here is a public service announcement regarding tickets to the Ginebra-Rain or Shine series.

UPDATE: Game 3 of the San Miguel-Alaska series is now postponed to Friday, July 20.

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Philippines, Sports, television

Barely Recognizable: PBA News Seldom Mentioned in Other Networks

Hardly mentioned: News surrounding the PBA is a seldom occurrence in ABS-CBN and GMA newscasts. (Photo credit: Philippine Basketball Association)

News surrounding the Philippine Basketball Association is hard to come by these days.

Once one of the Philippines’ national pastimes, the league has fallen on hard times in recent years due to a bevy of controversies. Nowadays, the PBA is barely mentioned at all in  TV networks outside ESPN5, a byproduct of declining interest that has alarmed the league of late.

One network, in particular, has repeatedly shunned the PBA when it comes to sports news. Enter ABS-CBN and its family of networks.

In ABS-CBN’s most recent year-end sports report, there was not even a single mention about the PBA. The network, in particular, failed to account the 50,000 or so crowd that saw Barangay Ginebra San Miguel win Game 7 of the Governors’ Cup finals over the Meralco Bolts, or the two championships won by the San Miguel Beermen last season, or the Christian Standhardinger-Chito Narvasa controversy.

It has been a pattern that is constant for the past several years. Instead of the PBA, ABS-CBN’s TV newscasts focused more on its sports properties such as the UAAP, NCAA, NBA and ABL, as well as national teams such as the Gilas basketball team and the Azkals football team.

In fairness, ANC’s Hardball, DZMM’s Fastbreak and ABS-CBN’s sports and news websites always make up for the newscasts’ oversight by mentioning and even talking about the PBA in greater detail. But even that is not enough to slap some sense in ABS-CBN’s mindset.

Now what about GMA? While they also report about the PBA on their news websites, they also do not mention the league’s news on their newscasts, and worse, they barely care about the world of sports at all since they do not even have a sports division.

Which leaves us to the only two networks that do take a look at the PBA on a regular basis: PTV-4’s ‘PTV Sports’ and CNN Philippines’ ‘Sports Desk’. Much like the PBA, they are hardly recognizable in the viewers’ consciousness, but at least they are doing their best to cover the league’s latest news with consistency and detail.

But for the two network giants in South Triangle, not mentioning the PBA on television is an disgrace to the league. Yes its popularity may have slipped of late due to these internal issues, but the PBA is still an important part of the Filipino sporting landscape and something needs to be done to rekindle the league’s interests.

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Philippines, Sports, television

PBA on TV5’s Biggest Eyesore

This virtual Oppo logo has become a distraction to the PBA games on TV5. (Logo courtesy of Oppo)

This virtual Oppo logo has become a distraction to the PBA games on TV5. (Logo courtesy of Oppo)

The Philippine Basketball Association today is full of problems.

Whether it’s the poor attendance in games that do not involve Ginebra, or the questionable officiating that coaches regularly complain, the PBA is a league that is in hot water every so often. Heck, even television coverage of the games has been a problem in recent years.

These days, the PBA games on television are aired on TV5 and PBA Rush, employing a separate set of commentators for their respective Taglish and English broadcasts. While the games on PBA Rush are relatively free from any product placement, the same cannot be said for TV5’s broadcasts.

Much of the issue has something to do with the gigantic virtual Oppo logo popping out on the court during games. Oppo is currently the main sponsor of the PBA, but while the promotion of their products is worth noting, the visually irritating virtual logo on the court leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth.

TV5’s penchant for placing virtual logos is not limited to Oppo alone. In past years, the network has placed the Sports5 logo, followed by the team logos on each end of the court.

It should be worth noting that ABS-CBN Sports also tried to place virtual logos on the court during select NCAA basketball games last season. However they stopped placing these logos upon realizing that they are an eyesore to the league’s coverage.

Let’s face it, there is nothing wrong about promoting a particular product. However, the PBA is all about game action, and placing these virtual logos while players run up and down the court is extremely distracting.

The best that TV5 would have done is to follow the example of the ASEAN Basketball League. Every ABL team’s home court features an AirAsia (ABL’s main sponsor) sticker being placed on the court, and this feature gives the league a chance to showcase the game without any distraction from the television screen.

Even the NBA also follow the ABL’s example, as some teams place stickers of advertisements on the court. That said, the PBA should take a good look at it and convince TV5 to do the same thing without straying away from the game.

The PBA should be about the game and how the fans buy into it. Anything distracting could spell disaster for the league.

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