Fans will be in for a treat during the opening salvo of the Philippine Basketball Association’s 44th season, as perennial contenders Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and a rebuilding TNT KaTropa will face off at the Philippine Arena.
The match is set at 6:30 PM.
All eyes are on the flagship MVP franchise to see how they will fare, not just against the Gin Kings but in the 2019 Philippine Cup as well. This, after their busy off-season highlighted by their trade of Terrence Romeo to the San Miguel Beermen.
The KaTropa have three new faces to boast of against the Barangay, however: stocky point guard Brian Heruela, defensive-minded David Semerad, and sweet-shooting 6-foot-6 slotman Michael Miranda.
The crowd favorites, meanwhile, will have their reliable backcourt tandem of veteran LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson; and of course their dreaded twin towers made up of Japeth Aguilar and seven-foot center Greg Slaughter.
Coincidentally, this was also the main game during the big league’s first foray at the Philippine Arena back in October 19, 2014.
But the highlight of Season 44’s curtain-raiser will be the Leo Awards, where the league will give out the major honors such as the Most Valuable Player plum, the Mythical Five selection, and the Rookie of the Year of Season 43.
June Mar Fajardo is expected to win his fifth straight MVP plum.
The awarding is set at 4:00 PM, followed by Season 44’s opening ceremonies.
The rest of the schedule is as follows.
Alaska hero Chris Banchero deflects credit to JVee Casio, Aces
Still hurting Vic Manuel vows to not back down against Terrence Jones
Diamon Simpson still in disbelief as Alaska pulls off improbable comeback
Marck Espejo, Cignal draw first blood against Air Force
Ex-Lady Eagles reunite as Choco Mucho enters PVL wars
Philippines U23 sent to brink by Okayama Seagulls in Sealect Open
Roger Gorayeb says he will not take sides on Bermillo-Dzakovic incident: ‘Yung act itself hindi maganda’
SJ Belangel comes out of his shell during Cignal-Ateneo’s D-League campaign
Agem Miranda scores game-winner over Arellano, hoists JRU to win column
Jaycee Marcelino, Lyceum flaunt experience over young Mapua for bounce back win
Jeo Ambohot’s putback lifts Letran past Perpetual in OT
Canlas, Nelle lead San Beda to 21st straight win against EAC
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