PBA season format gives Blackwater and Kia fighting chance at making playoffs, says Dioceldo Sy
Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy attended his first board meeting in the PBA. Snow Badua

SEOUL, South Korea – Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy believes the format for Season 40 of the PBA not only gives his team but also fellow expansion franchise Kia Motors a fair chance of making the playoffs.

“Maganda ang chance namin to make the next round especially in the Philippine Cup dahil only two teams will be eliminated. I don’t want to speculate about the other teams, pero I really like our chances,” said Sy, who attended his first ever annual planning session of the league board here.

Blackwater and Kia Motors are making their debut in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league, which kicks off its new season starting on October 19.

Both expansion teams play each other outright on opening day to be held at the 52,000-seater Philippine Arena.

The opener is the first of at least 33 matches all 12 teams are assured to play in a 10-month calendar.

Each team is scheduled to play a minimum of 11 games in each of the three conferences, with the league holding a single-round elimination phase during the Philippine Cup, Commissioner’s Cup, and the Governors Cup.

“For a new franchise like us, magandang exposure talaga yun. What more if we can advance to the playoffs, which means more games for us,” said Sy on Saturday as the board under chairman Patrick Gregorio wrapped up its five-day meeting in this Korean capital.

After the Philippine Cup elims, the top two teams automatically advance to the semis, and the bottom two automatically eliminated.

The third-ranked team to 10th figure in separate playoff matchups – 3 versus 10, 4 against 9, 5 versus 8, and 6 against 7 – with the higher seeds enjoying twice-to-beat advantage.

The winners advance to the best-of-seven semifinals, with the winners figuring in the best-of-seven title series.

During the Commissioner’s Cup, four teams will be booted out after the eliminations.

The top eight then advance to the quarterfinals with teams no. 1 and no. 2 – armed with twice-to-beat-advantage – up against teams no. 8 and no. 7 respectively. The middle teams (no. 3 vs. no. 6, and no. 4 vs. no. 5) battled in best-of-three showdowns.

Surviving teams advance to the best-of-five semis, before the last two standing teams figuring in a best-of-seven Finals.

In the Governors Cup, the top eight also advance to the quarterfinals, where the top four enjoy ‘the win-once edge’ versus the next four.

The semis is a best-of-five and the Finals a best-of-seven.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos