|Jeffrey Cariaso, right, will get a quick baptism of fire as Alaska coach. Dennis Acosta (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—Jeffrey Cariaso's first game back as head coach will be the very first game of the PBA Governors' Cup as well.
The league announced on Thursday that Alaska, now under Cariaso, will take on Columbian, featuring Gilas Pilipinas Men's breakout star in the FIBA World Cup CJ Perez, in the first clash of the season-ending conference on Sept. 20, 4:30 p.m., at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The main game of the doubleheader on that day at 7 p.m. will have NorthPort and Rain Or Shine in it.
The following day, action will shift to the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City as Kiefer Ravena makes his much anticipated PBA return for NLEX against Phoenix at 4:30 p.m.
Magnolia will then kick off its title defense against Meralco in the nightcap at 6:45 p.m.
On Sept. 22, the Aces will face the team where Cariaso had his first stint as head coach, Barangay Ginebra, at 6:45 p.m., succeeding the 4:30 p.m. game between the Elasto Painters and the Dyip.
TNT, Blackwater, and San Miguel, the three teams which will represent the league in the East Asia Super League Terrific 12, will make their Governors' Cup debuts on Sept. 25.
The KaTropa will take on the Elite in the first game at 4:30 p.m., while the Beermen will battle the Fuel Masters to start their bid for a grand slam at 7 p.m.
After five straight twinbills at "The Big Dome", the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex will get its turn of hosting some PBA action on Sept. 29 with Blackwater taking on NLEX at 4:30 p.m. and Alaska battling SMB at 6:45 p.m.
While the Beermen, Road Warriors, and the Barangay will spend their early October weekend at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, the Elite, Batang Pier, Dyip, and the KaTropa will spend theirs at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Blackwater will face NorthPort at 4:30 p.m., and Columbian will battle TNT at 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 5.
The finals rematch between the Hotshots and the Aces will take place the following night back at the Smart Araneta Coliseum at 6:45 p.m., right after the 4:30 p.m. game between the Fuel Masters and the Bolts.
The Cuneta Astrodome also in Pasay will then host a doubleheader on Oct. 9 with the Batang Pier taking on the KaTropa at 4:30 p.m. and Elasto Painters locking horns with the Fuel Masters at 7 p.m.
The "Manila Clasico" rivalry between Magnolia and Ginebra will take another turn as they battle on Oct. 20 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum at 6:45 p.m., right after the 4:30 p.m. clash between Columbian and SMB.
The PBA also set two out-of-town games this conference, starting with the Nov. 9 battle between the Beermen and the Elasto Painters at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu.
The following Saturday, the Hotshots will take on the KaTropa at the USEP Gym in Davao City.
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