Barangay Ginebra, Star Hotshots set to return to Philippine Arena for Christmas Day Classic
LA Tenorio and the Kings clash with Paul Lee and the Hotshots for the third straight Christmas Day game. Jerome Ascano 

LOS ANGELES — Barangay Ginebra plays its first game for the PBA 43rd season on the very same place where it last reigned as league champion.

The Kings cross paths with the Star Hotshots as they rekindle their rivalry on Dec. 25 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The match comes almost two months after the Kings retained their Governors Cup crown against the Meralco Bolts in front of a record crowd 54,086 in what is considered the largest indoor arena in the world.

It marks the third straight season the two rival teams will play against each other on Christmas Day.

Behind the 32-point effort of Japeth Aguilar, the Kings turned back the Hotshots, 86-79, last year in the Bocaue venue before a crowd of more than 25,000.

In 2015, Ginebra also beat the Hotshots in overtime, 92-89, behind LA Tenorio's memorable game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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