December 12, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

PBA to move schedule to accommodate Gilas sked?

IS the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) going to start in December or will start the 43rd season at the start of the year in January?

These are some of the suggestions brought up by several members of the board when they tackled the league’s commitment to help out the national team’s program.

The PBA, Asia’s pioneering professional league, is likely to move its schedule as Gilas Pilipinas will have a busy year-round campaign competing in major international events. One of the tournaments the Philippine national team will be participating in is the home and away tournaments.

The first three windows will be held in November this year and February and July next year and based on the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the country’s governing basketball body, the pro league will allow its players to join in the tournament.

“Commissioner Chito (Narvasa) explained it to the board. We also have to agree on the preparation for the home and away. It’s very clear in the MoA. What Chito wants is to strengthen it up further on really committing how we can get as much preparation we can get. We understand the concerns in the MoA. Like for example, November, there won’t be much problem because the PBA is on a break. Depending on when the PBA will start again whether it’s going to be December or can move it further,” SBP President Al Panlilio told BusinessWorld in an interview.

A board member, who requested anonymity, suggested to have the league’s next season be opened a week after the first window of the home and away tournament.

Another member suggested that it’s ideal to start the season in January, knowing that the PBA usually takes a break between December and January because of the Holiday Seasons.

Kasi nga, hindi rin logical na kaka-open pa lang ng season, tapos magbi-break rin kaagad,” added the board member. “Mas maganda kung sa January na umpisahan. This will give the players of Gilas enough time to prepare for the home and away tournament.”

The new six-window, home and away format leading to the 2019 World Cup will certainly affect the leagues worldwide, which will mean some of the big names might miss the chance of playing here.

The NBA, for example, is bound to send its D-League players in the event that the home and away tournaments will be held during their season.

Mr. Narvasa and the management committee, who are working round the clock to present to the board options on how they can fix the schedule.

“Com (missioner) Chito and the PBA can fix it. That’s the reason why we had given them the calendar until the third window in July of the home and away. All these are clear. There are six windows in the home and away. The windows in November, February and July, we all know who are opponents will be and where. The last three windows, we haven’t discussed it yet. The ones which will be left out were the ones which went through the first three windows. Whoever goes through that makes it to the next level,” added Mr. Panlilio.

“It’s a very smooth two-hour meeting, no issues, We’re making sure we’re aligned. Again, the objective is the same -- to help the national team.” -- Rey Joble