BARANGAY Ginebra won’t be having another break on Christmas Day.
After two years of not seeing action on December 25, the Kings are back playing on Christmas as they clash with sister-team Petron in the main game of a special PBA Philippine Cup doubleheader at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The match is set at 8 p.m. just after the 5 p.m. curtain raiser between Globalport and Air21 as per the official schedule released by the league for the entire elimination round.
Serving as one of the game’s highlight is the first meeting between June Mar Fajardo and top rookie pick Greg Slaughter, whose old college rivalry will now be elevated to the pro league.
The last time the Gin Kings suited up for a December 25 game was during the 2010 All-Filipino when they clinched a berth in the semifinals by defeating Alaska Aces in the deciding Game Three of their quarterfinals series, 79-70.
The league went on a Yuletide break in 2011, before returning back last year by playing Game Three of the Philippine Cup semifinals series between San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine.
Meanwhile, the first meeting between Governors Cup Finals protagonists San Mig Coffee and Petron will be on November 27 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. The Mixers beat the Boosters in seven grueling games to win the title of the season-ending conference last month.
There will be only one out-of-town game in the coming All-Filipino tournament to be held in Dipolog City on December 14 pitting Petron against Meralco.
The season-opening conference marks a first in the 39-year history of Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league as a total of three games will be simultaneously played each in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao on opening day on November 17.
Ginebra battles San Mig Coffee to usher in the new season at the Big Dome, reigning champion Talk `N Text kicks off its title defense against sister-team Meralco at the Cebu Coliseum, while Rain or Shine faces Alaska at the USEP gym in Davao City.
The four other teams then make their respective debuts on November 20 at the Araneta Coliseum when Air21 goes up against Barako Bull in the first game at 5:45 p.m., and Petron faces off with the new-look Globalport in the 8 p.m. main game.