SMB-Phoenix showdown to open new PBA season; Christmas "Clasico" in Bocaue set anew

Another Christmas "Clasico" in Bocaue has been set up. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--There may still be uncertainty on whether the upcoming PBA season will push through or not, but the league still announced on Wednesday night its preliminary schedule for the season-opening Philippine Cup.

Assuming the 43rd season will begin as scheduled on Dec. 17 as what outgoing PBA board chairman Mikee Romero vowed last week, a clash between San Miguel and Phoenix will take place on that day.

Interestingly, the two teams are on separate alliances regarding the issue on Chito Narvasa's term as commissioner, which led to fears of a lockout.

The Beermen and the Fuel Masters will slug it out at 6:45 p.m. of Dec. 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City following the opening ceremonies at 4 p.m.

Action will then continue on Dec. 20 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City as Kia takes on NLEX at 4:15 p.m. and newly-rechristened Magnolia clashes with Alaska at 7 p.m.

The Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay will then take its turn to host a PBA doubleheader on Dec. 22 as Blackwater locks horns with Meralco at 4:15 p.m. and Rain Or Shine battles TNT at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, the virtual first out-of-town schedule of the 2018 season will happen in Bocaue as the Philippine Arena will host the NLEX-GlobalPort match-up at 3 p.m. and the PBA "Clasico" showdown between Ginebra and Magnolia at 5:15 p.m.

The PBA will return to "The Big Dome" on Dec. 27 as Phoenix battles Kia at 4:15 p.m. and Meralco and SMB collide at 7 p.m.

The PBA will end calendar year 2017 with a twinbill back at Cuneta featuring the Blackwater-ROS and the TNT-Alaska matches.

The Philippine Cup schedule for 2018 will be released at a later date.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno