Pinoy basketball fans are treated to live sports action once again as TV5 started airing the resumption of the PBA Governors Cup conference last February 11. While Metro Manila’s protocol restrictions remain at Alert Level 2, the PBA has decided to re-open the games to live audience viewing as well (at 50% venue capacity) beginning February 16 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Bannering the theme “Tayo Ang Bida.Tuloy Ang Laban,” this 20th staging of the Governors’ Cup which had a brief run last December features double headers every Wednesday to Sunday with extensive coverage by TV5 and One Sports.
Rankings at this point will be changing now that the intense rivalries continue to heat up and new talents emerge coupled with realignments of players to new teams in the country’s premier professional basketball league.
Newly signed players include Young Gilas players – Matt Nieto NLEX, Mike Nieto Rain or Shine, and Allyn Bulanadi to Alaska. Among those changing new team assignments are Arwind Santos transferring to Northport, Alex Cabagnot to Terrafirma and Chris Banchero to Meralco.
Four teams introduce new imports: San Miguel, NorthPort, Blackwater, and Phoenix have brought in new reinforcements as they try to turn their respective campaigns around in the second half of the season-ending conference. The Beermen signed up former NBA veteran Orlando Johnson, the Batang Pier also have an ex-NBA player in their disposal in Jamel Artis, the Bossing hooked up with high-scoring Shawn Glover, while the Fuel Masters has former San Beda Red Lion Donald Tankoua as immediate back-up in case original choice Paul Harris won’t still be able to play.
The 32-year-old Johnson is the most experienced of the four and previously played for Barangay Ginebra in the 2015 Governors’ Cup, where he managed to steer the Kings to the playoffs, but lost to the Alaska Aces in the first round. Artis on the other hand, takes over the injured Cameron Forte, who only suited up in two games for the 0-4 Batang Pier, while Glover will have his hands full taking over a Blackwater team that went winless in five games with Jaylen Bond around. And there is Harris, who led the Fuel Masters to a 3-2 card, continues to recover from the mild hamstring injury he suffered in their Christmas Day win over previously unbeaten NLEX Road Warriors, 102-93.
There is much to look out for in this reinvigorated and resurgent PBA Governor’s Cup that heralds what could hopefully be the country’s long road back to “normalcy” or the pre-pandemic days.
Moreover, TV5, the official TV broadcast network of PBA, promises an extensive coverage that will be enjoyed by Pinoys both here and abroad.
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