Life begins at 40, and this seems to be true to the PBA as the oldest professional basketball league in Asia turns 40 years old when the 2014-15 season opens on October 19 at the brand spanking new Philippine Arena in Bulacan. We saw all the teams at the Tipoff! PBA Liga ng Bayan preseason games that were shown on TV. This time, it’s for real.
As per tradition, the season kicks off with the opening ceremonies. Kia made the biggest splash when it announced that Jinkee Pacquiao will be the Sorento’s muse. In addition, Sorento playing coach Manny Pacquiao invited Michael Buffer to attend. Will the ring announcer accede to the eight-division world champion’s request?
Opening day games will have expansion teams Blackwater and Kia go up against each other, followed by Talk ‘N Text and Barangay Ginebra. The spotlight in the first game will be on Pacquiao as he debuts as a playing coach in the league. The Elite, on the other hand, will feature the likes of Larry Rodriguez, Alex Nuyles, JR Cawaling, Paul Artadi, and Sunday Salvacion in their lineup.
The Tropang Texters will parade a roster of Gilas Pilipinas players who saw action at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014 mixed with up-and-coming rookies. Ginebra will have former Ateneo Blue Eagles LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, and Greg Slaughter being joined by a former De La Salle Archer in Joseph Yeo.
Nevertheless, the attention is on whether reigning two-time Philippine Cup champions Purefoods Star Hotshots (formerly the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers) can win a third straight All-Filipino crown and extend their championship winning spree to five conferences.
Meanwhile, Noy Baclao and Yancy de Ocampo, who were acquired in separate transactions, give GlobalPort more height. The newly-minted NLEX Road Warriors take over the Air21 franchise and will field Mark Cardona, Eliud Poligrates, Jonas and Enrico Villanueva, Mark Borboran, Aldrech Ramos, Wynne Arboleda, Niño Canaleta, and Asi Taulava.
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