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Leo Awards to kick off PBA’s 44th season

 

By TITO S. TALAO

 

Leo awards pba

LAS VEGAS – In accordance with plans to increase in-venue activity and media exposure, the Philippine Basketball Association will usher in the 44th season on Jan. 13 next year with the hold­ing of the Leo Awards.

Formerly called the PBA An­nual Awards, a stand-alone event where the Most Valuable Player of the concluded season is feted, along with the Mythical Selections and other achievers, the Leo Awards, named after founding commissioner Leo Pri­eto, will kick off the Philippine Cup eliminations which will run until March 31.

Hugging the inside track in the MVP derby is San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo who is looking to become the PBA’s first five-time winner. Legends Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio have four each during their ca­reers.

Reserved during the elims are playdates from Feb. 12 to 26 for the FIBA Asia qualifier window with games set Feb. 21 and 24.

The All-Star Week follows from March 1 to 3, with the PBA revert­ing to the one-area venue which will either be Calasiao in Pangasi­nan, Laoag City in Ilocos Norte or Sta. Rosa in Laguna.

Quarterfinal playoffs run from April 2 to 6 followed by the semi­final series from April 8 to 27. The best-of-7 finals is set for May 1 to 15, wrapping up the first confer­ence.

Just a little over a week after on May 24, the opening jump ball draws the curtains for the Com­missioner’s Cup, the elimination round stretched to July 24.

Quarterfinal battle will be waged from July 24 to August 1 with the final four teams going through the semifinals from Aug. 3 to 12. The championship series is booked for August 14 to 28.

Pencilled off is a two-week break from Aug. 30 to Sept. 15 for the Philippine team’s campaign in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Guangzhou, China should the Yeng Guiao-coached Nationals qualify among the 32 teams from all over the globe led by defend­ing champion USA.

The rest of the 44th season schedule would then be pushed back.

Non-appearance by the PH team in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, however, would al­low the PBA to start the season-ending Governors’ Cup on Sept. 4, with the eliminations running until Nov. 10.

The quarterfinals will be from Nov. 12 to 16 and the semifinals from Nov. 18 to 27.

Again a two-week break is to be made available around this time to give way to the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 13, with Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Var­gas, also the PBA chairman, bat­ting for pros in the national team.

From its original schedule of Nov. 29 to Dec. 13 then, the best-of-7 championship series will get readjusted to after the staging of the SEA Games.

The 2019 calendar remains subject to minor changes throughout the year though de­pending on unfolding events.

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