PBA to refund ticket holders; ready to help Typhoon Lando victims
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Basketball Association postponed on Sunday its season opener, but league officials stayed in communication, ready to respond to calls for assistance with the country again hit by a strong typhoon.

The 41st PBA season inaugurals were moved to Wednesday over at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, featuring the same opening game between Rain or Shine and the Star Hotshots.

“The PBA decided to postpone the season opener due to bad weather. Instead we shall have our formal opening on Wednesday with the same game to be played. The safety of our people is our priority,” said PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa.

Pomp and pageantry may be minimized due to booking problems.

“There’s still the ceremony but there may be problems with the schedules of the muses and the performers. They may have prior commitments for Wednesday,” said PBA media bureau chief Willy Marcial.

Among those scheduled to perform were the award-winning El Gamma Penumbra, Ogie Alcasid, Anya Aguilar, Junior New System, Abra and Project Pinoy.

The muses should have been Miss Global International 2014 second runner-up Catherine Almirante and 13 Miss Global International 2015 candidates for the Hotshots, Mutya ng Pilipinas 2015 first runner-up Julie Ann Marie Bourgoin for Rain or Shine, Ateneo volleyball star Alyssa Valdez for Talk n Text, La Salle volleyball star Mika Reyes for Barako Bull, FHM cover girl Max Collins for Blackwater, Jinkee Pacquiao for Mahindra, triathletes Sam, Tara and Chezka Borlain for Alaska, singer/actress Arci Munoz for Ginebra, volleyball stars Rachel Ann Daquis and Alexa Micek for San Miguel Beer, artist Karylle for Globalport, Miss Universe Philippines 2014 MJ Lastimosa for NLEX and TV5 actress Eula Caballero for Meralco.

Since the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the MOA Arena have their respective ticketing system, the PBA is refunding tickets purchased for the Big Dome opener.

Meanwhile, the original Wednesday twinbill at the MOA Arena will be moved to a latter date. Barako Bull and Mahindra were to play at 4:15 p.m. while Barangay Ginebra and Meralco were to clash at 7 p.m.

It’s the first season inaugurals in memory washed away by a weather disturbance.

Amidst this, league officials closed ranks, readying help to relief efforts to those in need.

"The PBA is always ready to respond to the needs of our kababayan. The PBA has a track record for that,” said the league media bureau chief, mentioning relief efforts the PBA done in the wakes of typhoon Ondoy and super typhoon Yolanda, among others.

Mark Caguioa, Asi Taulava, Jimmy Alapag, LA Tenorio and Danny Seigle personally lent hands in relief efforts in Tacloban City and Bogo, Cebu.

During the severe flooding in Metro Manila brought by typhoon Ondoy, the PBA was among the first to respond, donating P1 million to the victims.

“The chairman (Robert Non of San Miguel Beer) wants us to be ready to help those would be in need,” said Marcial.

ABRA AND PROJECT PINOY ACIRC ALYSSA VALDEZ ANYA AGUILAR ARCI MUNOZ ASI TAULAVA BARAKO BULL BARAKO BULL AND MAHINDRA BARANGAY GINEBRA AND MERALCO MISS GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL PBA
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