PBA sets giant bash on March 1
Willie Marcial
PBA sets giant bash on March 1
John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — For the second straight year, the Philippine Basketball Association is making the Leo Awards as curtain-raiser to the opening of the next PBA season.

The local pro league holds this special event on March 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to officially close Season 44 and formally open Season 45.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial pointed to the ongoing season’s expanded calendar as the reason to repeat the 2019 gig.

The previous season end-of-season awards rites were held Jan. 13, ushering in the 44th PBA season inaugurals at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. 

Due to the remaining windows of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers, the FIBA World Cup proper and the 30th SEA Games, the PBA took numerous breaks that stretched the season calendar to a span of more than a year.

To be exact, the ongoing 44th season could extend to a year and nine days – the longest in history – should the Governors’ Cup finale between Ginebra and Meralco goes the distance. 

Game 7, if necessary, is on Jan. 22 at the Philippine Arena. 

Marcial said the PBA would likely retain the format of holding the Leo’s and the season opener simultaneously from here on to be on the same page with the adjusted calendar of FIBA-sanctioned and other international tournaments. 

The coronation of the season MVP, the league’s highest individual award, highlights the Leo Awards. 

Also to be feted in the end-of-season honor roll are the Rookie of the Year, the All-Defensive Team, the Most Improved Player, the Samboy Lim Sportsmanship Award winner, the Mythical First Team and Second Mythical Team. 

The PBA will also have a Media Day for the second straight season on Feb. 27.  Before that, it will have its annual pre-season press conference on. Feb. 25 at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City.

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