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.
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