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PBA faces longest season to give way to Team Pilipinas’ World Cup bid

PBA faces longest season to give way to Team Pilipinas’ World Cup bid

THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is bracing for what could be the longest season in its rich, 45-year history.

The coming new season might stretch for over a year once adjustments in the league’s playing schedule are made to synchronize with the FIBA calendar, whose main event is the hosting of the 2019 World Cup in China from August 31 to September 15.

The Office of the Commissioner under Willie Marcial has already been taken to task by league Board Chairman Ricky Vargas of TnT Katropa to make the necessary adjustment in its schedule, especially with the World Cup qualifiers not being over until February of next year.

PBA season 45 kicks off on January 13 and Marcial isn’t discounting the 2019 Governors Cup ending perhaps by January of 2020 with the leeway the league is extending to the campaign of Team Pilipinas.

“The third conference next season may stretch to January 2020 as the league is again re-adjusting its schedule for the remaining windows of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, and to the World Cup proper should we make it there,” said Marcial after attending his first annual board meeting and planning session as commissioner Saturday at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

“That’s the commitment the PBA is throwing to the SBP and the national team.”

Team Pilipinas remains very much in the running for one of seven World Cup berths reserved for Asia.

The entire board gave its full support to Marcial and Vargas during the first of its scheduled three-day session.

Attending the meeting are governors Dickie Bachmann (Alaska), Alfrancis Chua (Barangay Ginebra), Robert Non (San Miguel), Rod Franco (NLEX), Eric Arejola (NorthPort), Siliman Sy (Blackwater), Atty. Raymond Zorilla (Phoenix), Rene Pardo (Magnolia Pambansang Manok), Atty. Mamerto Mondragon (Rain or Shine), and Bobby Rosales (Columbian Dyip), and Al Panlilio (Meralco), who is also president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

This season alone, the league already accommodated Team Pilipinas’ campaign in the World Cup qualifiers that pushes the season-ending meet to conclude at its limit on Dec. 13.

Three days after, the Rookie Draft will be held.