Gabe Norwood recommends the PBA create its own In-Season Tournament

Dec 29, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines – Gabe Norwood, a seasoned PBA veteran, anticipates that introducing a local version of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament could be beneficial for the Philippine league. Sharing his insights on the Let It Fly podcast on YouTube, Norwood expressed optimism about the potential success of such a tournament, drawing parallels to its positive impact on the NBA. The veteran player’s reflections provide a glimpse into the ongoing discussions within the PBA community regarding innovative approaches to enhance the league’s structure and fan engagement.

Gabe Norwood conceptualized a transformative idea aimed at integrating the All-Filipino Conference into the regular PBA season structure. Instead of a standalone competition, Norwood envisions the All-Filipino Conference becoming the In-Season Tournament, interwoven seamlessly with the existing conferences like the Governors’ and Commissioner’s Cups.

In detailing his proposal, Norwood suggested dedicating Wednesdays exclusively to the All-Filipino tournament, allowing all teams, including those affiliated with SMC and MVP, as well as independent ones, to participate. Teams would be strategically grouped, and the top performers from each group would advance. Second-placed teams would engage in a round-robin format for the opportunity to progress.

The primary motivation behind this proposal is to optimize scheduling, providing ample playing days while affording imports necessary rest. Norwood envisions a league structure where every Wednesday becomes a dedicated All-Filipino day, fostering competition and fan engagement.

Jared Dillinger, a seasoned player with nine PBA championships, embraced Norwood’s idea, emphasizing the need for refinement. Dillinger, an advocate for change, believes the PBA should be open to progressive adjustments to maintain its excellence. The sentiments echo a collective desire within the league to evolve while upholding the spirit of the game.

Though there have been differing opinions expressed in the lead-up to the NBA’s In-Season Tournament, players in particular have stayed optimistic. Games played during what was once known as the “down months” have seen a resurgence of interest and have been competitive in the In-Season Tournament. Maybe the PBA can start with Norwood’s concept and draw inspiration from it.

Gabe Norwood (quick bio)

Nicknamed “The Phenom,” Gabriel Daniel Viloria Norwood is a Filipino-American player who plays basketball for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). This 6’4″ small forward, who was born in 1985, has braided his talents into the very threads of Philippine basketball history.

Drastic play earned him the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year award at George Mason University, where he carved out a path to greatness. The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters drafted Norwood first overall in 2008, and his smooth shooting, smart cuts, and smothering defense won over fans right away.

Norwood’s track record demonstrates his commitment. In his first season, he won Second Mythical Team and first of the Year, swiftly solidifying his place as a key player in Rain or Shine’s triumph. His illustrious career is highlighted by two PBA titles, two All-Star Game MVP honors, and a Finals MVP trophy.

However, Norwood’s influence goes beyond data. He pushes himself to the edge and motivates a new generation of athletes, embodying the resilient spirit of the Filipino athlete. He was given the coveted captain’s armband for both his team and the national team because of his leadership both on and off the court.

Norwood has faced difficulties along the way. Despite the possibility of injuries impeding his ascension, his resolute determination enabled him to ascend stronger each time. His tenacity on the court is reflected in his dedication to social problems, as he promotes young development and education.

At 38 years old, Norwood is still a major player in the PBA today. His unshakable passion and astute experience inspire his teammates and enthrall spectators. He serves as a genuine representative of the sport, showing everyone that all it takes to become a Philippine basketball legend is perseverance, commitment, and a little swagger.

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