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    Nostalgic homecoming for Norman Black, Tim Cone as PBA returns to old 'Ultra' home for Game Four

    May 12, 2014
    Both Tim Cone and Norman Black had won memorable championships during the PBA's time in the Pasig arena that used to be named Ultra. Jerome Ascano

    WONDERING why Game Four of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals between Talk ‘N Text and San Mig Coffee will be played at the Philsports Arena?

    League officials said the unavailability of its regular venues prompted the PBA's return to its former home in Pasig City - site of some memorable battles during the pro league's glory days in the eighties and early nineties.

    The Game Two win of the Tropang Texters over the Mixers on Sunday guaranteed a return of the league to its old home, then more popularly known as the ULTRA, on Thursday.

    The last time the league held a finals game at Philsports was on August 23, 2003 when Alaska defeated Coca-Cola, 91-86, in Game Three to win the Invitational Cup crown.

    That Alaska team was coached by Tim Cone, who, depending on the result of Game Three on Tuesday, may end up winning an all-time record 17th career championship in the same venue where he won his first at Alaska.

    The return to the Philsports Arena will also be nostalgic for Talk 'N Text coach Norman Black, who won most of his championships with San Miguel Beer - including the grand slam in 1989 - at the Pasig arena.

    Once the site of some of the most important sports events in the country, the Philsports Arena has now been overshadowed by bigger venues like the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the Mall of Asia Arena.

    In this case, the pro league only ended up at Philsports only because neither the Big Dome, the MOA Arena, nor the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City would be available on the pencilled date.

    Continue reading below ↓

    A check on the websites of the MOA and Araneta Coliseum showed that the Big Dome will be hosting a concert of Anne Curtis dubbed as ‘The Forbidden Concert Annekapal.’

    The MOA Arena, meantime, is not available since preparations for the concert of Korean group 2NE1, whose members include former Philippine-based Korean actress and singer Sandara Park, will begin on Thursday.

    As for the Cuneta Astrodome, the Pasay City venue is also booked on that day for the opening of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference.

    While the Superliga will start its tournament on Friday, an employee of the venue told Spin.ph that the league will be installing the taraflex floor for the opening games the day before.

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    Both Tim Cone and Norman Black had won memorable championships during the PBA's time in the Pasig arena that used to be named Ultra. Jerome Ascano
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