PARIS -- PBA Season 48 commences on Oct. 15 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, about a month after the FIBA World Cup and a week after the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
The Dragons, under Australian legendary coach Brian Goorjian, made a big impact in their initial PBA stint, engaging the Barangay Ginebra Kings in a finale to remember that was a major factor in record numbers enjoyed by the league last season.
The PBA is opening a new season months late from the usual, a sacrifice to allow PBA stalwarts to serve duty to Gilas Pilipinas in these two major international competitions.
Part of the league sacrifice is trimming the season calendar to just two conferences, just after a banner year marked by record numbers in a big rebound from two seasons hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"It's a sacrifice and a challenge for the PBA, but we're more than willing to do this in support of Gilas Pilipinas," said PBA chairman Ricky Vargas at the end of the league board planning session at the Warwick Hotel in this lovely French capital.
The new season opens with the Commissioner's Cup featuring the return of the Bay Area Dragons from the East Asia Super League and imports with a height limit of 6-foot-9.
With Myles Powell and Andrew Nicholson rotating as the Bay Area import, the guest team barely missed finishing on top.
But in their return, the Dragons will be restricted to playing one import, as will be the case for all the teams.
As in previous Commissioner's Cup, the competing teams figure in a one-round-robin eliminations with the top eight advancing to the playoffs. The top two enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarters with teams No. 3 to No. 6 figuring in a best-of-three. The semis will be best of five and the finals is best of seven.
Then, it will be the season-ending Philippine Cup.
Games will be aired Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with the opener at 5pm and nightcap at 730pm. Saturdays will be tapped for international or provincial outings.(SB)