PARIS—Barangay Ginebra will defend its Commissioner’s Cup title starting Oct. 15 at the earliest, and Tim Cone, his hard-fighting Gin Kings and the rest of the local PBA teams will know who they will be playing against the whole time as far as the guest team is concerned.
Unlike last year when the league, as a concession, allowed Bay Area the luxury of taking two imports to the country and giving the Dragons the luxury of switching them, only one reinforcement will be allowed for the Hong Kong-based squad like everyone else.
Imports standing no more than 6-foot-9 will reinforce each team, and Bay Area, which already confirmed participation and will try to go all the way
this time, will likely be tapping Andrew Nicholson for the season-opening conference.
The league will open its 48th Season with the Commissioner’s Cup and will play just two conferences as a sacrifice for the Gilas Pilipinas team which will be bannered by pro stars for the Fiba World Cup in August.
Last season, Myles Powell and Nicholson took turns seeing action for the Dragons, who took Ginebra all the way to a Game 7 in the finale before close to 54,000 fans at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The PBA will also be requiring Bay Area to present proof of each of its player’s citizenship for them to pass as locals.
Also, the league took into consideration the coming NBA camps in reducing the height limit by an inch, compared to last season when the Commissioner’s Cup was played as the second of three conferences.
Tournament format will call for a single round elimination with the top four teams advancing to the quarterfinals armed with twice-to-beat privileges against the next four teams.
The latest that the new season will open is on Oct. 22 depending on the availability of a venue and board vice- chair Bobby Rosales of Terrafirma confirmed that the league will return to its old practice of having glitzy opening rites.
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