Ginebra-Talk 'N Text match kicks off eventful, 10-month 40th season for PBA
PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio and Commissioner Chito Salud (middle) are joined by the entire league board during the first day of its annual planning session in Seoul. Photo courtesy of Alfred Mendoza/Kia Motors PH

SEOUL, South Korea – The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is leaving no stones unturned as it celebrates its 40th year.

A number of activities are in store for the coming new season that features a record 12 teams and runs for 10 full months, starting on October 19 when the league ushers the opening conference Philippine Cup at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan highlighted by the debut game of expansion teams Kia Motors and Blackwater, and capped by the early collision between title contenders Barangay Ginebra and Talk `N Text.

The season that is expected to be over by August 7 of next year, also retains its three-conference format, with two of the tournaments spiced up by imports.

Board chairman Patrick Gregorio and Commissioner Chito Salud bared the initial programs approved by the league during the first day of its annual planning session at the Novotel in this Korean capital.

The season-opener will again have an all-Filipino format, followed by the Commissioner’s Cup where a 6-foot-9 import limit is being imposed, before the Governors Cup capped the year by tapping imports with 6-foot-5 height limit.

With the entry of Kia Motors and Blackwater, two weekly games have been added to the league’s schedule with the holding of a doubleheader every Tuesday, aside from the regular matches held every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday (usually out-of-town), and Sunday.

“We look forward to the 40th season of the PBA with great pride and passion,” said Gregorio.

Also part of the busy year for Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league will see the premier showing of the PBA documentary entitled `A Nation’s Passion’ on Oct. 14 at the Resorts World Manila, chronicling the evolvement of the league as the country’s no. 1 sports entertainment the past four decades.

The event also coincides with the launching of the `Chairman’s Ball’ where team owners, league officials, and players together with their respective partners are all invited to join the formal get-together.

And during the celebration, also to be launched is the new league jingle is composed and arranged by multi-titled musician Ryan Cayabyab in collaboration with PhilPop winners Tyro Alfaro and Junjie Marcelo.

Entitled `Ito ang Liga,’ the theme song is performed by Sam Concepcion and popular rapper Gloc9.

“We really want to reach to the fans to make the feel that the PBA truly appreciate their support,” said Salud.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos