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Sports

PBA backing SEAG crusade

Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star
PBA backing SEAG crusade
The battlecry is to regain the championship that the Philippines lost to Indonesia in Hanoi this year, and Marcial affirmed the PBA’s all-out support to SBP in the crusade. The ongoing Commissioner’s Cup is slated to finish in mid-January and the Governors’ Cup will kick off after only a few days of interval. It’s the reason why Meralco, Rain or Shine, TNT and Barangay Ginebra recruited imports eligible to play in both the Commissioner’s and Governors’ Cups.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said yesterday the Board of Governors has given its go-signal for the pro league to end the 47th season in April or at least a week before the SEA Games begin on May 5. This will allow Gilas head coach Chot Reyes to pick anyone from the PBA to play in the Cambodia conclave set May 5-17.

The battlecry is to regain the championship that the Philippines lost to Indonesia in Hanoi this year, and Marcial affirmed the PBA’s all-out support to SBP in the crusade. The ongoing Commissioner’s Cup is slated to finish in mid-January and the Governors’ Cup will kick off after only a few days of interval. It’s the reason why Meralco, Rain or Shine, TNT and Barangay Ginebra recruited imports eligible to play in both the Commissioner’s and Governors’ Cups.

Reyes said recently he hopes the PBA will close its season before the SEA Games open and it appears his wish will come true. Filipino fans were aghast when Indonesia broke the Philippines’ 31-year reign as SEA Games champion and are looking forward to redemption. Justin Brownlee is expected to make his Gilas debut as a naturalized player in the sixth FIBA World Cup Asia qualifying window against Lebanon and Jordan in February and will likely suit up in the SEA Games.

Marcial said he will review how to compress the Governors’ Cup schedule and submit a recommendation to the Board. He noted that it may mean playing a schedule of five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday. Whether there will be tripleheaders or not is subject for study but if Thursday is included as a playing day, it may not be necessary. Reyes said he will resume Gilas’ weekly Monday workouts early next year to build more chemistry with the option of inviting others to the pool.

It will be a challenge to adjust the PBA schedule as aside from giving way to the FIBA window in February, San Miguel Beer and TNT are booked to play in the EASL Champions Week on March 1-5. Marcial said the PBA will play only two conferences next season for Gilas to focus on preparing for the FIBA World Cup on Aug. 25-Sept. 10.

WILLIE MARCIAL

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