The five PBA Commissioner’s Cup games that you must see in 2023–24

Oct 25, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines – On November 5, the LEO Awards and the opening-day match between TNT Tropang Giga and Magnolia Hotshots will start off the 2023–24 PBA season.

The TNT-Magnolia game should be a solid option to start the Commissioner’s Cup season.

However, there are undoubtedly other matchups that merit notifying the phone or adding to the schedule.

Here are five of them in the order they occurred.

Blackwater Bossing vs. Terrafirma Dyip (Nov. 15, 4 p.m.; Ynares Center-Antipolo)

Avoid laughing, gasping, or rolling your eyes. This game is on the list for a reason.

First time since the 1997 selection, a player with no official Philippine league experience was selected with the top two picks. In selecting players who had previously played in the PBA but were based in Europe and Canada, respectively, The Dyip and Bossing showed great faith.

By the time Blackwater and Terrafirma face off, Blackwater would have played two games and Terrafirma one, giving David and Holt the opportunity to get their bearings.

Despite the fact that they protect different players and play different positions, they would definitely be eager to prove to the other that they are the genuine masters of their draft class.

Magnolia Hotshots vs. Barangay Ginebra (Nov. 19, 6:15 p.m.; Smart Araneta Coliseum)

The most watched rivalry in the league, the Manila Clasico, will now be discussed once more.

Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia have faced off 207 times in total since 1988, with the Hotshots holding a 108-99 advantage overall. However, the Kings hold the most recent trophy after defeating the Hotshots 3-1 in the 2022–23 Commissioner’s Cup semifinals on their way to defeating the Bay Area Dragons for the championship.

The Hotshots haven’t experienced a championship in five years, so how they perform against Ginebra will serve as a strong barometer for their chances of winning one.

San Miguel Beermen vs. Converge FiberXers (November 25, 6:15 p.m.; Tiaong, Quezon)

When Jeron Teng plays his former baseball team for the first time since turning down an extension offer and accepting a two-year deal with the Beermen a few days later, the FiberXers and Beermen will be out of town.

Converge did everything in its power to keep Teng, its franchise player, but ultimately decided to give up its rights to the gifted guard in order for him to go with his father’s former team.

It must have stung the FiberXers to receive nothing in exchange for Teng, especially coach Aldin Ayo who shared a UAAP championship with Teng in 2016. It would be fascinating to see if this will give them more incentive to win.

TNT Tropang Giga vs. San Miguel Beermen (Dec. 17, 6:15 pm; Ynares Center Antipolo)

A must-watch event every year is the matchup of the two premier clubs from the SMC and MVP groups.

The two teams only faced off three times last season, once in each conference’s elimination phase. The Tropang Giga won the Governors’ Cup matchup to win the championship, while the Beermen prevailed in the Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup matches.

This time, the Tropang Giga will be without RR Pogoy, Justin Chua, and Poy Erram, while the Beermen will have Jeron Teng.

TNT appears to have the advantage in imports, though, as Tyler Stone’s resume is less comprehensive than Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s.

Dec. 25, 8 p.m.; Smart Araneta Coliseum; Barangay Ginebra vs. TNT Tropang Giga

Your Christmas Day will be perfectly ended in this manner.

After competing for the Governors’ Cup last season, which the Tropang Giga won in six tense games, Ginebra and TNT will finally meet. But Hollis-Jefferson last faced a Tim Cone-coached squad when Jordan lost to Gilas Pilipinas in Hangzhou for the Asian Games gold medal.

Additionally, team governors Alfrancis Chua and Ricky Vargas, who joined up for Gilas at the Asian Games, will be on opposing sides once more.

There are many different stories about this one.

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