DON’T think the PBA is adjusting its venue based on its recent attendance by setting up a rare playdate at the Filoil Flying V Centre on Wednesday.
After hosting the opening of its 43rd season at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum where a record-low turnout of fans trooped last Sunday, the league is set to hold a double-header at the 5,000-seat San Juan venue.
But PBA officer in charge Willie Marcial stressed that the league is only doing so due to the Big Dome and Mall of Asia Arena having bookings ahead of them.
“May show sila pareho,” Marcial said over the phone on the eve of the playdate pitting Kia and NLEX at 4:15 p.m. and Alaska and Magnolia facing off at 7 o’clock.
It will be the first time the league will hold games in the San Juan venue since almost exactly a year ago, or last December 21 when Phoenix held off Meralco, 94-90, before Blackwater beat Globalport, 99-91.
Former NCAA standouts are again making a homecoming of sorts by setting foot again on the unofficial home of the country’s oldest college league.
Kia’s Philip Paniamogan (Jose Rizal University), Prince Caperal (Arellano), Jan Jamon (Emilio Aguinaldo College), and Dan Sara (San Beda), and the Road Warriors’ Michael Miranda (San Sebastian), Kevin Alas (Letran), and Kenneth Ighalo (Mapua) have all seen significant action at the San Juan venue.
“Kaya nga eh, homecourt ng NCAA,” Sara said on Tuesday as he makes his pro debut a year after playing his last game for the Red Lions.
Former NCAA MVP Calvin Abueva, Ronald Pascual, Davon Potts, Jake Pascual and Kevin Racal are the Aces’ NCAA products who will face off with their Hotshots counterparts in Ian Sanglang, another former NCAA MVP, and former San Beda standouts Kyle Pascual, Rome dela Rosa and Bambam Gamalinda.
"Excited din kami maglaro dun, lalo mga NCAA boys sa Alaska," Jake Pascual said. "Tagal na namin hindi naglalaro dun, first time namin ulit maglalaro dun as a professional player."
"Sana maging advantage namin yun dun mag laro," he added. "And alam ko naman na ready na ang team namin para maglaro bukas. Pinaghandaan talaga namin itong all-Filipino."