Ginebra PBA provincial games ‘coincidental’ but Willie Marcial happy for them
MANILA, Philippines–Barangay Ginebra as the PBA’s Kings of the road?
If the schedule of road games in the Philippine Cup is to be used as basis, it may seem so as the Gin Kings will be booked for three of the four out-of-town matches scheduled.
But as glad as he is that things worked out that way, commissioner Willie Marcial said the league’s most popular team going on the road that many times is a mere coincidence—a product of schedule and venue conflicts.
“It’s a result of several factors,” said Marcial. “Hindi namin sinadya.”
He added: “For example, the game between Ginebra and Rain or Shine was supposed to be held in Guam. But because of a tight schedule for certain requirements, we were not able to push through with it. And it would be impossible already to squeeze it into the Metro Manila schedule.”
Instead, the Kings will play at Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan on Jan. 26.
The Kings will also play in Davao del Sur, where they will collide with Blackwater on Feb 9. Their last road game will be on March 23 against NLEX at Angeles University Foundation in Pampanga, another match moved out of town due to venue and schedule conflicts.
Marcial, however, is happy things worked out that way.
“It’s no secret that our fans outside Manila have always clamored for a Ginebra game and I guess, this is an opportunity for them to be able to watch Ginebra live,” said Marcial. “So in a way, I’m happy that we suddenly find ourselves with a lot of Ginebra games in the provinces.”
Every Ginebra game out of town represents a big sacrifice for the PBA, which earns more when the Kings play in Metro Manila. That, plus the fact that the league wants equal exposure for all of its teams in provincial sorties, limits the chances to send Ginebra out of town.
The only out-of-town schedule this conference without the Kings will be on March 16, when San Miguel Beer battles Phoenix in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.