Mahindra returns to old Kia name, battles Phoenix at start of Govs' Cup

Call Jackson Corpuz's team the Kia Picanto from now on. (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Mahindra will once again be known as Kia as the Manny Pacquiao and Chris Gavina-mentored club takes on Phoenix in the very first game of the PBA Governors' Cup on July 19.

In the release of the PBA's schedule for the rest of July at its social media pages on Friday night, the former Floodbusters, which will now take the moniker Picanto, battle the Fuel Masters at 4:15 p.m. of the said date at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Meanwhile, Alaska, who failed to make the playoffs for the first time with Coach Alex Compton at the helm last conference, look to bounce back with a bang as the team begins its own campaign against NLEX at 7 p.m.

On the other hand, Mac Belo is expected to make his comeback for Blackwater on July 21 also at "The Big Dome" against Meralco at 4:15 p.m., right before the 7 p.m. match-up between GlobalPort and Rain Or Shine.

Action will shift to the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on July 22 with the NLEX-Kia game at 3 p.m. and the Phoenix-Alaska match at 5:15 p.m.

Star and Ginebra, losing semifinalists in the Commissioner's Cup, will return on July 23 back at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Hotshots, who are expecting Marc Pingris back, lock horns with the Elite at 4:30 p.m., while the Barangay, who are set to bring back Greg Slaughter, clash with the Bolts in an early rematch of last year's finals at 6:45 p.m.

TNT, the runner-up last conference, will open its own Governors' Cup bid on July 28 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo against Kia at 4:15 p.m. followed by the 7 p.m. game between Star and Alaska.

San Miguel's bid for a grand slam begins the next day also at the Ynares Center against Blackwater at 3 p.m., right before Meralco and ROS collide at 5:15 p.m.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno