One of the teams that last played at the SMART Araneta Coliseum will help usher the PBA’s homecoming at the historic venue next week.
Magnolia will make its Governors’ Cup debut against Terrafirma in the opening salvo of the league’s return to the Big Dome on Wednesday.
It could be remembered that the Hotshots battled San Miguel in the Season 46 opener last March 8, 2020, which proved to be the last game to be held there as the coronavirus pandemic changed the course of the season.
The league played in bubble set-ups in the past two conferences, but finally had its prayers answered to return to its usual venues when the local government units of Pasay City and then Quezon City approved their requests.
Now, it is about to play in Araneta again with fans, with Magnolia meeting the 1-1 Dyip at 3:00 p.m. to open the double-header affair.
It would be followed by a clash between another debuting team in TNT Tropang Giga and early leaders NLEX in an all-MVP showdown at 6:00 p.m.
The league on Sunday released a schedule for the December 15-19 games, which will be held in Araneta like Commissioner Willie Marcial said.
Thursday’s games will see Blackwater aim to end its historic slump against Meralco, followed by a duel between Phoenix and Rain or Shine.
Alaska and TNT will raise the curtains of Friday’s hostilities, with defending champs Barangay Ginebra battling NorthPort afterward.
The Dyip returns to action on Saturday, opening the weekend offering against NLEX. San Miguel then takes the floor versus Blackwater.
And lastly, the Gin Kings and the Fuel Masters will be the main event of Sunday’s action, after the Elasto Painters-Hotshots duel.
The 3×3 inaugurals’ sixth leg on December 20-21 and the Grand Finals on the 29th will also be held in the said venue, and possibly the Christmas Day matches as well as the league is in talks with Araneta.