duminică, 2 octombrie 2011

All set for season 37

With a keen eye on the past and on the future, the Philippine Basketball Association unwraps its
37th season with great excitement and high expectations Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

PBA officials are looking forward to another banner season, hoping to ride the success of the
2010-2011 campaign and the energy injected by Smart Gilas in the sport.

Curtains rise for the 37th PBA season Sunday with the league inducting a fourth batch of esteemed
individuals into the Hall of Fame to highlight an extravaganza of lights, songs and dances.

Alvin Patrimonio, Billy Ray Bates, Freddie Hubalde, Tommy Manotoc, Mariano Yenko, Tito Eduque and
Bobong Velez will be elevated into the Hall, preceding a lone opening-day match pitting crowd
darling Barangay Ginebra versus Rain or Shine.

League officials, meanwhile, took into consideration the future in announcing continued partnership
with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas insofar as participation in elite international tournaments is

PBA chairman Mamerto Mondragon and commissioner Chito Salud said they’re looking at a 16-man pro
pool that they would make available for the national team.

“We have to sit down with SBP on this. We have to know their plans for the next two years. But
definitely, we’re willing to make available players for the national team,” said Salud during
the media launch of the 37th PBA season at Diamond Hotel Wednesday. 

“That would answer the concern of fans and both the SBP and the PBA. We still have a lot of room
to improve and we’re taking small steps to go there,” Salud added.

The league chair believes the PBA would benefit from the impact made by Smart Gilas in its
fourth-place finish in the recent FIBA Asia championship.

“Undoubtedly, the success of Smart Gilas brings basketball higher to the consciousness of the
fans. The entry of Gilas players to the PBA will energize the PBA,” said Mondragon.

No less than eight Smart Gilas players brings their act to the pro loop, including top draft pick JV
Casio and No. 4 draft selection Marcio Lassiter for Powerade.

A major overhaul of its lineup has made Powerade officials hopeful of a higher finish in the coming

“It’s obvious that we have a better team now. And the hunger factor is also there. Our team has
not been into the playoffs in the last two to three years,” said Powerade alternate governor
Kenneth Duremdes.

The consensus is that Talk n Text, B-MEG, Petron and Alaska are the teams to reckon with while
Powerade, Rain or Shine, Meralco and Barako Bull can be darkhorses.

Ginebra official Robert Non said the Kings “will continue to be the never-say-die team that will
earn gate receipts for the league.”

Others had their prognosis.

“(Winning) two conferences out of three last season was not bad. It could have been dramatic.
We’ll try again this season with Japeth Aguilar joining us after a two-year wait. We’re looking
forward to a great season,” said Talk n Text’s Patrick Gregorio.

“We can’t be modest because we really have a strong lineup. The Llamados are llamado this
season,” said B-MEG governor Rene Pardo, brimming with confidence on the return of Kerby Raymundo,
Rico Maierhofer and Rafi Reavis plus the addition of Mark Barocca and John Ferriols.

“The guys have yet to fully adapt into coach Tim Cone’s triangle offense. But even if it bogs
down, I think talent alone can bring us to the championship,” Pardo added. 

“We hope to be in the Finals,” said Mondragon whose team has yet to make it past the semis in
all its first six seasons in the pro league.

“We’ve learned a lot and we expect a greater level of passion and ambition,” said Meralco
governor Ramon Segismundo.

“We have modest target. We’ll be happy to at least make the semis and let’s see from there,”
said Barako Bull’s Manny Alvarez. 

The PBA takes a new leaf with a new TV coveror in ABC-5 and a new member ball club in Shopinas.com.

Shopinas.com’s lady governor Sheila Lina said she would be happy to see her team play with its
best in each game.

ABC-5, meanwhile, promised a more extensive, vibrant coverage to be shown over IBC-13.

A refined format that calls for knockout matches to decide important ties – lessening the use of
quotient in the process – could well add excitement and thrill to the new season featuring 22
rookies and 19 old faces in their new teams. 
Source : www.pba.ph 

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