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PBA targets Dec. 15 or 18 finale for bubble season

The pandemic-interrupted PBA season set to resume in Clark, Pampanga may conclude exactly a week before Christmas Day. 

That has become a possibility following the adjustment of the start date from Oct. 9 to Oct 11, as the schedule of the teams’ swab testing has shifted.

So from the projected season finish of Dec. 10-13, the tournament may now end between Dec. 15-18.

“‘Yun nga, dapat matatapos tayo December 10 or 13, baka 15 o 18 na. So na-adjust lahat. Na-adjust pati ‘yung dulo,” Commissioner Willie Marcial said in an online press conference Thursday.

Still, the league will stick with its plans of holding double-header games, seven days a week, for the single round-robin elimination round.

The format remains the same as well, with the top four teams at the end of the eliminations securing a twice-to-beat advantage for the quarterfinals.

The semifinals will be a best-of-five series. The winners will then face off for the Philippine Cup championship in a best-of-seven affair.

The league expects to unveil the schedule of the games five days before the season opener, Marcial said.

It will be an all-new arrangement of games, not the same set it had before the league suspended play last March.

Defending five-time Philippine Cup champs San Miguel carries over its 1-0 record, which it earned from a 94-78 win over Magnolia last March 8.

The third-year league chief also said that marquee match-ups may not be held strictly on weekends anymore, as the league usually does.

“Wala nang Linggo-Linggo sa’tin, wala nang Biyernes-Biyernes. Kasi wala namang mga fans e. Sigurado lahat ng tao manonood sa’tin,” he said.

“May nagsabi nga sa’kin, ‘Comm, lagay natin Clasico sa November 1.’ Bakit pa? may manonood na sigurado sa November 1. Ilagay natin sa hindi naman November 1.”

Games will start at 4 p.m., with a one-hour break before the second game for disinfection procedures as courtesy for the next teams.

“Magsisimula tayo alas-kuwatro, matatapos tayo ng 6. May gap ng isang oras para mag-disinfect. By 7 magsisimula na tayo, by 9 or 9:30 tapos na tayo.”

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Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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