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    PBA taking week-long break to give way to Gilas' campaign in Fiba Asia Cup

    Aug 3, 2017
    Gilas hard at work in practice days before its departure for the Fiba Asia Cup. Jaime Campos

    FOR the second time in a week, the PBA adjusted the schedule of its games in the Governors Cup to give way to Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the Fiba Asia Cup.

    The revised schedule released on Wednesday scrapped three playdates that will enable the league to take a break for almost a week while Gilas flies the flag in the August 8-20 tournament in Beirut, Lebanon.

    The league will proceed with its August 6 doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, but features instead games pitting Blackwater against Phoenix (4:30 p.m.) and unbeaten Meralco versus KIA (6:45 p.m.)

    Action won’t resume until the following Sunday (August 13), meaning there will be no scheduled games on Wednesday (August 9) and Friday (August 11). The Sunday twinbill showcases Rain or Shine against KIA (4:30 p.m.) and NLEX vs. Meralco (6:45 p.m.)

    There will be no games again on Wednesday as the league returns to its regular playdate by Friday (August 18) involving Meralco against Phoenix (4:15 p.m.) and Blackwater opposite NLEX (7 p.m.).

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    “It’s the least we can do as far as schedules are concerned,” said PBA communications and external affairs head Willie Marcial. “The league continued to revise its schedule at least before the start of the Fiba Asia Cup.”

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    The August 20 games involving KIA and Globalport (4:30 p.m.) and Rain or Shine and TnT Katropa (6:45 p.m.) will go on as scheduled.

    "In all, we'll be missing a total of six games during the Fiba Asia. Talagang siksik na yung schedule ng liga," added Marcial.

    Rain or Shine and Phoenix have two games each during that stretch, meaning the teams will miss the services of national team members Gabe Norwood and Raymund Almazan for the Elasto Painters and rookie Matthew Wright for the Fuel Masters.

    Globalport, meanwhile, is not going to have Terrence Romeo for one game, so does Jayson Castro and Roger Pogoy for TnT, and rookie Ed Daquioag for Meralco.

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    Without a game during the Fiba Asia Cup stretch are defending champion Barangay Ginebra, Star, Alaska, and grand slam-seeking San Miguel Beer, all four teams having players included in the Gilas team bound for Lebanon.

    Japeth Aguilar though is likely to miss the Kings’ game against the NLEX Road Warriors in Calasiao, Pangasinan this Saturday should the national team proceed with its scheduled departure for the Middle East early Sunday morning.

    Comprising the rest of the Gilas squad are June Mar Fajardo (SMB), Jio Jalalon (Star), the Alaska pair of Calvin Abueva and Carl Bryan Cruz, and Fil-German Christian Standhardinger.

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    Gilas hard at work in practice days before its departure for the Fiba Asia Cup. Jaime Campos
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