SMART CLARK GIGA CITY – The need to finish the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations on time was the reason behind the league decision to compress its remaining 30 games in nine days.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said the league was forced to schedule quadruple or triple headers a day, otherwise the conference could be extended all the way until after Christmas Day.
“Kailangan nating isiksik yung 30 games in just nine days. Yun ang challenge, e,” said Marcial on Sunday when the league finally released its new schedule for the final half of the eliminations.
Games will resume starting Tuesday at the Angeles University Foundation gym and will end on Nov. 11.
But to accommodate all games in that stretch, five quadruple headers are scheduled – a first in the history of the league – while the remaining days offer either triple or double headers.
As much as Marcial didn't want any team to play back-to-back games, the small window made it impossible.
“Siyempre gusto talaga namin walang back-to-back, pero hindi maiiwasan, e,” said Marcial, who held a meeting with coaches together with deputy commissioner Eric Castro on Friday night to discuss the new schedule of the eliminations.
The coaches, according to Marcial, even suggested that the league hold five games a day just to be able to prevent teams from playing two matches in two days.
“Puwede sana 'yun kung nakapagsimula ulit tayo ng Nov. 1 or mas maaga,” the commissioner said. “Malaki sanang ginhawa.
“Pero kung hindi, hahaba pa tayo. Ang eliminations natin hindi lang hanggang Nov. 11. E kung may mga playoffs pa.”