May 04, 2022

PBA braces for compact 47th season with return of three-conference format

THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) returns to its regular three-conference format for the coming 47th season that kicks off starting June 5.

The Philippine Cup ushers the pro league's 2022-23 calendar of schedule that will also see the return of the mid-season Commissioner's Cup following a two-year absence.

The all-Filipino conference will run until September 2, after which the league takes a month-long break to give way to Gilas Pilipinas' campaign in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Reverting back to the three-conference set-up was unanimously approved by the PBA Board following its two-day planning session in Boracay over the weekend.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the league was reduced to just a single conference the rest of the season, with the Philippine Cup being played under a strict bubble layout in Clark, Pampanga.

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A year ago, the PBA cautiously staged the all-Filipino tournament in a bubble in Bacolor, Pampanga, and later the import-laden Governors' Cup, where fans were finally allowed to watch inside the venues.

After the Asiad, the Commissioner's Cup will be played from October 2 to January 25, with the league's participation in the home-and-away East Asia Super League (EASL) being played in between.

Finally, the season-ending Governors Cup is set from Feb. 1 to May 10, where out-of-town games and an out-of-the country match will be held.

During that same stretch, the league holds the All-Star weekend for the first time since 2019.

Board chairman Ricky Vargas, commissioner Willie Marcial, vice chairman Bobby Rosales, and treasurer Atty. Raymond Zorilla were among those who attended the Wednesday presser announcing the league's calendar for the new season. (RG)

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