In continuing to help Gilas program, PBA sticks to last season’s format
MILAN—Owing to its commitment to the Gilas Pilipinas program, the PBA will be adopting the same format it did last year for its 45th season that starts on March 1.
The league’s 2020 playing calendar kicks off with the season-opening Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum, where five-time defending champion San Miguel Beer kicks off its title-retention bid against Magnolia in the lone game on opening night.
The All-Filipino Cup will last until June before it is followed by the Commissioner’s Cup that features imports with a height limit of 6-foot-10.
The season-ending Governors’ Cup then ushers the final conference of the year showcasing imports 6-foot-5 and below and which is expected to again last until January next year.Board chair Ricky Vargas said embracing the same setup from last season is imperative especially with the league schedule again adjusting to the Gilas Pilipinas campaign in the Fiba Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers that begins this February.
“We’re trying to move from a calendar year to a flexible year,” said Vargas during the Board’s annual planning session that concluded here on Friday. “We’re going to extend to January 2021 because this [calendar] will accommodate the window of qualifiers for the Fiba Asia Cup. So we organized it on that basis.”
Format for the Philippine Cup (March 1-June 17) will have the top eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals, with the top two teams at the end of the eliminations enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage against the eight and seventh seeded teams.
The No. 3 team tangles with No. 6 and No. 4 battles No. 5 in a best-of-three series. The semis and the finals will both be best-of-seven.
The same setup will be used in the midseason Commissioner’s Cup (June 24-Oct. 4), although the semifinals is going to be a best-of-five, and the finals a best-of-seven.
The Governors’ Cup (Oct. 11-Jan. 29) meanwhile, will have eight teams again earning a berth in the quarterfinals, where the top four squads own a twice-to-beat advantage against the four other teams in the lower bracket, even as the All-Star Game will be held in Passi, Iloilo, from July 10-12.
For the third straight season, the PBA won’t be holding games on Christmas Day. INQ