THE successful title run of underdog Rain or Shine and the entry of nwecomer Global Port are expected to spice up competition when the 38th season of the PBA kicks off on September 30.
League commissioner Chito Salud said the two franchises are capable of giving the league's traditional powers a run for their money in the coming new season.
The Elasto Painters already proved their worth in the last Governors Cup when they stunned favorite B-Meg Llamados (now San Mig Coffee) in the deciding Game Seven of the Finals to win their breakthrough championship.
Meanwhile, the Batang Pier of Mikee Romero are expected to pick up from where their predecessors - the Powerade Tigers - left off as they continue to build their roster this offseason following the acquisition of two-time league MVP Willie Miller to team up with scoring champion Gary David.
“Global Port and Rain or Shine, these are competitive teams. They have good lineups, and our fans want good teams to be able to challenge perennial favorites San Miguel, B-Meg, and Talk `N Text,” said Salud, who was the main special guest in Tuesday’s session of the PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
At the same time, the commissioner said the recent four-team trade involving Miller, sophomore star JV Casio, and ace playmaker LA Tenorio will help Asia’s pioneering pro league achieve parity.
Balanced competition, after all, has been one of the major reasons for the PBA’s continued success the past few seasons, including last year when it achieved record ticket sales of more than P100 million.
“The new trade that has been approved, I sincerely believe, would strengthen the overall competitive balance of the league, and in terms of credentials and lineup, it would be more exciting for the PBA and the fans,” stressed Salud in the session presented by Smart, Shakey’s, and Pagcor.
“For the past two years, the fans have spoken loud, they want fast-paced action, they want balanced competition, and they always want new faces, fresh talent that will continuously challenge the status quo that is set by our veterans, and who will continuously elevate the level of play in basketball.”