Starters, rookies attend PBA Media Day

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — At least 16 rookies are booked for the PBA’s Media Day at the five-star Okada Manila ballroom on New Seaside Drive, Parañaque this afternoon as the pro league ramps up preparations for the 45th season opening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on March 8.

Aside from the rookies, each team will make available its five starters and head coach for media interviews from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. PBA media head Dave Coros said he expects close to 200 reporters in the annual event that started last year. There will be 16 tables with 10 seats each and six sofas, sitting three to five, in the ballroom where reporters are free to engage the players and coaches in one-on-one sessions. Food and drinks will be provided.

Coros said last year’s Media Day attracted over 100 reporters. “It was a big success and we’re expecting a bigger attendance this year with foreign media participating,” said Coros. Representatives from Fox and Associated Press reportedly sent in requests for credentials. This is the PBA’s version of the “media availability” that the NBA schedules to connect players and coaches with reporters during the season. Coros said there will be nooks set up for TV interviews.

The Media Day is an initiative in PBA commissioner Willie Marcial’s list of marquee projects under “Hype” in his three-pronged program of “Hustle, Heart and Hype.” “Hype” encompasses the league’s thrust in media where the highlights include an exhibit road show of video clips, memorabilia and jerseys spanning 45 years in a virtual multi-museum, a major concentration on social media awareness, the development of a vibrant digital platform and a series on the PBA Rush Cignal channel featuring legends and current stars.

As of today, the 16 rookies in PBA rosters are Barkley Ebona and Jaycee Marcelino of Alaska, Arvin Tolentino and Jerrick Balanza of Ginebra, Maurice Shaw of Blackwater, Roosevelt Adams, Bon Bon Batiller and Christian Balagasay of Columbian, Sean Maganti of NorthPort, William McAloney of NLEX, Adrian Wong, Prince Rivero, Vince Tolentino and Clint Doliguez of Rain or Shine, Wendell Comboy of San Miguel Beer and Kib Montalbo of TNT. There are other rookies waiting in the wings to be activated, including players winding up their MPBL obligations. Among the other freshmen expected to make their PBA debuts this season are Mike Ayonayon of NLEX, Aris Dionisio of Magnolia, Richard Escoto, Hubert Cani and Chris Bitoon of Blackwater, Rey Publico of Alaska, Aaron Black of Meralco, Renzo Subido of NorthPort, Daniel de Guzman of San Miguel Beer and Val Chauca of TNT.

Head coaches were invited for the Media Day and the expectation is 100 percent attendance.




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