Instead of the traditional Philippine Cup, the import-flavored tournament is set to be the first championship to be disputed in the season’s two-conference format.
The shift in the league calendar is meant to give way to the league’s participation in the East Asia Super League (EASL) home-and-away meet also slated in October, where defending champion Barangay Ginebra and reigning Governors’ Cup title holder TNT will represent Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.
The EASL employs a two-import format, with San Miguel and TNT flying the PBA’s flag in Japan earlier this year.
Hong Kong-based Bay Area Dragons will again seeing action in the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
“The first conference will be the Commissioner’s Cup with a height limit of 6-foot-9 and below,” said commissioner Willie Marcial at the close of the Board annual planning session.
The Dragons are going to tap anew import Andrew Nicholson for the opening conference.
“OK na sa Bay Area,” said Marcial, who had a meeting with Dragons CEO Matt Beyer.
Ginebra defeated Bay Area in last season’s finals that reached Game Seven and played before a record crowd of 54,589 at the Philippine Arena.
After the Commissioner’s Cup, the all-Filipino conference will commence in January of 2024.
There won’t be a Governors’ Cup for the coming season.