Gin Kings, Bolts square off in PBA's 36th season opener
The lone encounter is scheduled at 6 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum following the 4:15 p.m. opening ceremonies.
Defending All-Philippine Cup champion B-Meg Derby Ace makes its debut on Oct. 6 against Talk N’ Text, which made key player trades during the off season.
The Llamados-Tropang Texters game comes off at 7:30 p.m. after the 5 p.m. match between Rain or Shine and Powerade (formerly Coca-Cola) – two teams that are expected to make some noise in the league’s first conference.
Defending Fiesta Cup titlist Alaska takes its turn on Oct. 8 when it battles Barako Bull at 5 p.m. On that same day, San Miguel Beer also opens its campaign against new-look Air21, powered by top two rookie picks Noy Baclao and Rabeh Al-Hussaini.
“We have a lot of fresh talents coming in this season and a new team in Meralco. So I am very sure the games will be very thrilling and exciting," said league commissioner Chito Salud.
The league’s first road game has been scheduled on Oct. 9 pitting Powerade against Barangay Ginebra in Batangas City.
The PBA Commissioner’s Office has released playdates for the first two weeks of October. The rest of the schedule are as follows: Oct. 10 (Cuneta Astrodome) Meralco vs Barako Bull, TNT vs SMB; Oct. 13 (Araneta Coliseum) Air 21 vs ROS; Derby Ace vs Alaska; Oct. 15 (Cuneta Astrodome) Alaska vs ROS, Meralco vs TNT; Oct. 16 (Naga City) Derby Ace vs Air 21 and Oct. 17 (Araneta Coliseum) Barako Bull vs Powerade; SMB vs Barangay Ginebra.
Tournament format will be inter-intra meaning the 10 teams will be divided into two groups. Teams in the same group play each other once while playing teams in the opposite group twice.
Bracketed in Group A are Alaska, Barangay Ginebra; TNT, Meralco and Air21. In Group B are Derby Ace; SMB; ROS; Powerade and Barako Bull.
The last two teams after the classification round will be eliminated.
The quarterfinals will pit No.1 vs No. 8 and No.2 vs No.7 with the top two seeds enjoying a twice to beat advantage. The games between No. 3 v No.6 and No.4 vs No.5 will be a best-of-three affair.
Winners if the quarterfinals will advance to the best-of-seven semifinals. - RCJ, GMANews.TV