2 Dubai games in PBA Philippine Cup schedule
Two games in Dubai featuring the Mahindra squad of eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra will be played on Nov. 6 and 7 as part of the PBA Philippine Cup’s elimination-round schedule.
The two squads will be joined by Alaska on the league’s return to the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.
Two Governors’ Cup games were also held in the emirate two months ago.
Though the contract between the league and the Dubai promoters has yet to be signed, a PBA source said the games are “more or less a go.”
Among the three teams, only the Aces will play two games in as many days.
Meanwhile, the league’s board of governors, chaired by San Miguel Beer’s Robert Non, is considering a 3-on-3 tournament among the league’s legends in between games to spur interest in the 41st season.
The PBA has also decided to revert to the four-days-a-week schedule, dropping the Tuesday games it staged last season, in an effort to check the league’s revenue dip that topped P18 million.
In another development, the top two picks of the last Draft—Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario—who could very well become the league’s newest attractions, signed maximum deals for rookies spread over three years with Talk ‘N Text.
The Tropang Texters, who picked Tautuaa first overall and then tabbed Rosario in a trade with Mahindra, gave each player a contract worth about P8.5 million, starting with a rookie monthly salary of P150,000 excluding bonuses.
Tautuaa and Rosario will fly to Taipei Friday together with the rest of the Gilas Pilipinas squad to play in the Jones Cup that starts Saturdau.
In the early 1980s, the league also came up with a one-on-one tournament in-between games.
The first game has a 4:45 p.m. start with the second kicking off at 7 p.m. to accommodate the 6 p.m. news program of league coverer Channel 5.
The new season opens on Oct. 18 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The league board said games should be held at the Big Dome and at Mall of Asia Arena to attract bigger crowds.
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