A new format is implemented by PBA for Season 49

Jun 7, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – The PBA is getting ready to celebrate its golden jubilee by implementing a new tournament structure.

Twelve teams compete in the Governors’ Cup, which kicks off Season 49. The participants are split into two groups of six teams each.

During the elimination round, teams from each group will play each other twice, for a total of 10 games among all participating ball clubs.

The top four teams from each group move on to the crossover quarterfinals, while the bottom two teams from each group are eliminated in the first round.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said last Tuesday’s monthly Board of Governors meeting resulted in the amended structure being accepted.

“We have a new format that was presented to the Board. It’s two groups, it doesn’t matter that you can compete twice with the one in your group,” Marcial stated.

The Governors’ Cup, which opens the season with a 6-foot-6 height restriction for imports, will follow the new structure.

After a best-of-five crossover quarterfinal round, the four remaining teams will play a best-of-seven semifinal round.

The best-of-seven seven series will also be used for the finals.

According to Marcial, this format shift is just the start of further adjustments to come as the league approaches its 50th anniversary in 2025.

On top of the format change, PBA approves Commissioner’s Cup imports with an unrestricted height restriction.

For the Commissioner’s Cup of the next season, THE Philippine Basketball Association is bringing back the unrestricted height among imports.

Willie Marcial, the league’s top executive, revealed on Wednesday that the Board of Governors approved the use of imports of any height for the mid-season competition the following year.

When Season 49 begins in the middle of August, the Governor’s Cup will still only accept immigrants who are at least six feet six inches tall.

“The Board is in favor of my proposal to import an unlimited height for the Commissioner’s Cup second conference,” Marcial stated the day following the meeting.

The 2016 Commissioner’s Cup was the final time the league permitted imports with no height restrictions; nevertheless, only the lowest four clubs from the previous Philippine Cup were permitted to use imports with no height restrictions.

A quick run-through of Season 48

The Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) 48th season featured many exciting games and competitive Commissioner’s Cup and Philippine Cup matchups. November 5, 2023, saw the Magnolia Hotshots and TNT Tropang Giga play a game that opened the season and set the stage for an interesting one.

San Miguel Beermen finished first in the regular season with a 10-1 record, demonstrating their dominance throughout the campaign. They carried over their impressive performances into the postseason, defeating Magnolia Hotshots in the Commissioner’s Cup Finals. They were successful because of the critical performances that players like June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez made in high-stakes matches.

There were a lot of notable moments in the postseason series. Magnolia and San Miguel played a memorable game in which Magnolia prevailed 98-97, demonstrating the fierce rivalry between the best teams. But the Beermen proved their resiliency and depth as they came back in the next games to win the championship.

The Meralco Bolts also had a noteworthy run, making it to the championship game after overcoming many formidable opponents in the postseason. They tried their hardest, but they couldn’t defeat San Miguel in the championship series, which demonstrated the Beermen’s superiority this year.

Notable individual performances included NLEX Road Warriors’ Robert Bolick Jr. leading in scoring and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s Christian Standhardinger leading in rebounds. The season was made more exciting and unpredictable by these players’ crucial contributions in several tight games.

The 48th PBA season was characterized by intense games, exceptional individual performances, and San Miguel Beermen’s unwavering domination, solidifying their place among the league’s best teams.

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