The PBA opens its third and last conference this season with a loaded weekend, showcasing doubleheaders today, tomorrow and Sunday as commissioner Willie Marcial disclosed a long list of treats to make the Governors Cup an exciting experience for the fans.
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Big treats await PBA fans
Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MACAU – The PBA opens its third and last conference this season with a loaded weekend, showcasing doubleheaders today, tomorrow and Sunday as commissioner Willie Marcial disclosed a long list of treats to make the Governors Cup an exciting experience for the fans.

Marcial was in this former Portuguese colony with PBA chairman Ricky Vargas, Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy, governors Atty. Raymond Zorilla of Phoenix, Dickie Bachmann of Alaska, Robert Non of San Miguel Beer, Eric Arejola of NorthPort and Silliman Sy of Blackwater, legal counsel Atty. Melvin Mendoza and technical director/head of operations Eric Castro for a meeting with East Asia Super League executives the other day.  The PBA delegation also came to witness Tuesday’s opening of the Terrific 12 tournament with San Miguel Beer, TNT and Blackwater among the participating teams. 

Marcial, Mendoza, Castro, Zorilla, Bachmann and Arejola returned to Manila yesterday to catch the Governors Cup inaugural twinbill at the MOA Arena today. 

“We’ve got a lot of exciting things in store for the fans this conference,” said Marcial. “First, we’ll going full blast with our Homecourt visits on a weekly basis. We’ll bring our players to barangays for surprise visits to interact with fans and give out goodies. Second, every Sunday will be heroes’ day to honor soldiers, police, firemen and those who put their lives on the line for our country. Third, we’re offering 50 percent ticket discounts at Araneta from upper A to general admission in exchange for proof of purchase of goods related to any PBA team, like bottle caps of San Miguel Beer or Ginebra products and receipts for NLEX tolls, Rain or Shine paints, pre-paid TNT cards, Blackwater cosmetics, Alaska powdered milk, Magnolia chicken, Meralco bill payments and others. Fourth, we’ve got a lineup of high-caliber imports and lastly, we’ve got several veterans moving to new teams, making the Governors Cup more interesting to follow.”

Marcial also revealed that suspended Phoenix star Calvin Abueva met with him last week and they will continue to discuss what steps to take in considering a possible comeback. Marcial declined to elaborate on what they took up but mentioned Abueva reported on the social responsibility projects he recently undertook in Pampanga.

Among the veterans playing with new teams this conference are R. R. Garcia and DaVon Potts of Phoenix, Abu Tratter, Maverick Ahanmisi and Renz Palma of Alaska, Bryan Cruz of Blackwater, Almond Vosotros of TNT, Ping Exciminiano of Rain or Shine, Jared Dillinger of Ginebra, Jerramy King and Russel Escoto of NorthPort and Juami Tiongson, Joseph Gabayni and Lervyn Flores of Columbian. Returning to their teams after layoffs are Art de la Cruz and Jeff Chan of Ginebra and Kevin Alas and Kiefer Ravena of NLEX.

Non said five-time MVP JuneMar Fajardo should be ready to suit up for San Miguel Beer against Phoenix at the Big Dome on Wednesday. “JuneMar’s ankle is still swollen,” said Non. “He sprained it in the first game against Italy at the World Cup. He should’ve rested in the second game but insisted on playing for the country.” Another San Miguel player Marcio Lassiter joined his teammates here but spent his time doing rehab. Non said Lassiter’s timetable is to return to the court when San Miguel plays NLEX at the 17,000-seat Coca Cola Arena in Dubai on Oct. 4. 

Three teams will play in Dubai. Aside from the Beermen and Road Warriors, Ginebra will also see action against NLEX on Oct. 5. The PBA has also scheduled out-of-town games in Sta. Rosa, Lapu-Lapu City and Davao City before the eliminations end on Nov. 20.

WILLIE MARCIAL
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