MANILA, Philippines – The Commissioner’s Cup will kick off THE PBA’s 47th season on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. After a two-year break brought on by the epidemic, the convention that will feature taller imports is back.
Many clubs bring back their former reinforcements, many new teams have new coaches, and a visitor team competes for the Commissioner’s Cup title.
These are some important details regarding the next conference.
Format of the Tournament
The top eight teams from each of the 13 teams’ round-robin elimination matches will move on to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, the top two teams will have a twice-to-beat advantage. The best-of-five format will be used for the semifinals and the best-of-seven format for the final.
Imports to return, Brownlee as Forerunner
As a returning player for Barangay Ginebra, Justin Brownlee leads the cast of imports for the conference. Brownlee, along with Lester Prosper of Terrafirma and Prince Ibeh of NorthPort, is one of the three comebacking imports in this conference with an official height stated at 6 feet, 4 and 5/8 inches. When Ginebra won the conference championship that year, Brownlee won the Commissioner’s Cup’s Best Import award in 2018. He also represented his long standing baseball team in the Commissioner’s Cup’s final competition in 2019.
NBA first-round picks’ teams
Thomas Robinson of San Miguel is one of the imports at this conference with an exceptional background. Following his selection by Sacramento with the fifth overall pick in 2012, Robinson played in the NBA for five seasons. He also had stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Houston.
Earl Clark of NLEX, who was taken by Phoenix in the 14th round of the 2009 NBA Draft, has also played for Orlando, the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland, and New York.
Orlando selected Andrew Nicholson of the Bay Area Dragons in the first round, 19th overall, in 2012.
Players and their New Homes
There were a few significant deals made in the run-up to the Commissioner’s Cup, one of which involved Calvin Oftana, Troy Rosario, and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser. Oftana, Raul Soyud, Ganuelas-Rosser, and a few future draft picks went to the Road Warriors, while Rosario, Gab Banal, and Oftana were traded to the Bossing by TNT, NLEX, and Blackwater.
With Barangay Ginebra acquiring Jamie Malonzo from NorthPort in exchange for Arvin Tolentino, Prince Caperal, and a future draft pick, the San Miguel group also wasted no time in upending the status quo. In a separate three-team transaction, Jeff Chan, Kent Salado, and Von Pessumal were acquired by Ginebra while future draft rights were acquired by San Miguel and went to the Batang Pier.
Returning to Rain or Shine is Yeng Guiao
Movements affected coaches as well, with NLEX surprising the basketball world by cutting ties with Yeng Guiao after five years. Guiao claimed he turned down a corporate job offer because he wanted to continue working as a coach. A few days after the breakup, Guiao returned “home” when his old team Rain or Shine signed him to a three-year contract. Rain or Shine won two titles under his leadership, including the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup, which marked the last time an independent basketball team in the PBA won a championship. Frankie Lim has been appointed as NLEX’s new coach.
Return of Philsports Arena
The Commissioner’s Cup will symbolize the league’s emotional return to the Philsports Arena. The facility run by the Philippine Sports Commission will host a total of 17 playdates.
TNT, San Miguel, and Ginebra take a break for the month of November
TNT, San Miguel, and Barangay Ginebra won’t be competing in early November Commissioner’s Cup games because they’ll be playing for the core of Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
The Tropang GIGA, Beermen, and Gin Kings will be able to represent the Gilas in the fifth window matches against Jordan on November 10 and Saudi Arabia on November 13 thanks to a deal made between the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. Players being considered for the pool include June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Arvin Tolentino, Poy Erram, and Roger Pogoy.