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They’ll be back

  • Written by Peoples Tonight
  • Published in Basketball
  • Read: 240

LOS ANGELES -- PBA Season 43 is readopting the exciting calendar in the past season that culminated
with the Governors Cup finale played before record crowds at the Philippine Arena.

The local pro league is also reimplementing the same exciting formats used last season where
San Miguel Beer emerged as the Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup champ while Barangay Ginebra came
through with a successful title defense in the Governors Cup.

This measure was resolved in the last PBA regular board meeting in Manila.
    
The same height limits for imports are set -- 6-foot-10 in the Commissioner’s Cup and 6-foot-5
in the Governors’  Cup.
    
This paves the way for the likely return of topnotch imports Justin Brownlee, Charles Rhodes,
Ricardo Ratliffe and Allen Durham in PBA Season 43 set to start Dec. 17.
    
All three tourneys feature a single-round-robin elimination phase, with the best eight teams
advancing to the playoffs. Thus each team will be playing a minimum of 33 games in the season.
    
In the all-Filipino and in the Commissioner’s Cup, the Top Two gain a twice-to-beat advantage
versus the bottom two in the quarters. The four middle teams, meanwhile, figure in a pair of best-of-
three quarterfinals showdowns.
    
In the Governors Cup, the Top Four will all enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the
quarterfinals versus the next four. It’s No. 1 versus No. 8, No. 2 opposite No. 7, No.3 against No. 6
and No. 4 versus No. 5.
    
The Gin Kings are likely to play Brownlee in both the Commissioner’s Cup and in the Governors
Cup like they did last season.
    
Meanwhile, San Miguel and Star are likely to bring back Rhodes and Ratliffe in the second
conference while Meralco could lean on Durham again in the Governors Cup.
    
Rhodes and  Durham emerged as the Best Imports in the Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup,
respectively, in PBA Season 42.
    
Meantime, taking the cue from last season, the 2018 PBA All-Star Event will not be confined in
one city or one province.
    
Just like the last time, the PBA mounts an island-hopping journey to showcase the All Stars in
PBA Season 43.
    
Approved in principle is another three-leg All-Star event coming on the heels of the
successful 2017 All-Star extravaganza with stops in Cagayan de Oro, Lapu-Lapu City and Lucena.
    
This time, the PBA is playing the Luzon game in Batangas and the Mindanao tiff in Davao. Still
up for bidding is the hosting right for the Visayas.
    
“Still uncertain is the format of the All-Star Game,” said PBA director for external affairs
Willie Marcial.
    
Last year, the PBA again veered away from the regular North versus South format, instead
pitting Gilas Pilipinas against PBA All Stars from Mindanao, the Visayas and Luzon in three separate
matches.
    
“The members of the PBA board were all happy with the turnout of each game, thus, they want
another Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao series,” Marcial said.
    
In other developments, Raymar Jose is glad to finally get what he feels he deserves after
signing a three-year maximum rookie contract with Blackwater on Monday.

Initially offered a one-year deal, the third overall pick in this year’s draft eventually
inked a three-year deal worth approximately P8.5 million, with a monthly salary of P150,000 on his
first year, P225,000 on his second, and P337,500 on his third year.
    
“May one year, merong two years (na offer),” Jose admitted on Monday. “Kaya na-ano ako sa
sarili ko ... nag-ano na lang ako sa condo, tahimik na lang muna ako doon. Sabi ko, sana maging maayos
din at mabigay nila yung gusto kong kunin kasi pagtatrabahuhan ko naman eh. So ito ngayon naging
resulta, naging okay naman.”
    
“Happy and blessed ako,” the Gilas cadet and former D-League MVP added after signing his
rookie deal alongside agent Ed Ponceja and team manager Johnson Martines before the start of the
Elite’s afternoon practice.
    
Martines explained their decision to initially offer the 25-year-old Jose only a one-year deal
worth P1.8 million.