|Alaska and Blackwater will face off in the first game of the new PBA season. PBA Images (file photo)|
MANILA—A showdown between Alaska and Blackwater will formally open the 46th season of the PBA on Friday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Upon the release of the PBA Philippine Cup schedule on Wednesday, two days before the opening, the Aces and the Bossing will serve as the curtain raisers for the new season, which will still be held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alaska and Blackwater are scheduled to tip off at 12:30 p.m. Friday, right after the opening ceremonies at 11 a.m.
Afterward, Rain Or Shine and NLEX will slug it out in the second game at 3 p.m.
The PBA has yet to release the official rosters of all the participating clubs as of posting amid the contract situation of Kiefer Ravena with the Road Warriors and the Shiga Lakestars of the B.League.
The nightcap at 6 p.m. will feature Meralco and NorthPort going at each other.
Like the Road Warriors, the Batang Pier also have lineup concerns of their own due to newly acquired center Greg Slaughter leaving for the United States recently to get his COVID-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Calvin Abueva will quickly meet his former team on Saturday night as the Magnolia-Phoenix game will highlight the doubleheader scheduled for that day at 4:35 p.m.
In the first game at 2 p.m., Joshua Munzon makes his much anticipated PBA debut as Terrafirma takes on TNT.
On Sunday night, Ginebra begins its Philippine Cup title defense at the expense of NLEX at 4:35 p.m., right after the 2 p.m. match between San Miguel and Meralco.
The Road Warriors-Gin Kings game will mark the first game of Christian Standhardinger with the Ginebra franchise.
Meanwhile, the Beermen will officially welcome CJ Perez to the team against the Bolts even as June Mar Fajardo is scheduled to make a return to the lineup as well.
In the nightcap at 7 p.m., Blackwater and ROS will collide.
The first Manila Clasico of the year will happen on the following Sunday as the second game of another triple-header.
The Batang Pier and the Beermen will first slug it out at 2 p.m. before the showdown between the Hotshots and the Gin Kings at 4:35 p.m.
The Road Warriors and the Dyip will cap the July 25 festivities at 7 p.m.
NorthPort will then face Ginebra in what could be their first clash since swapping their top centers, Standhardinger and Slaughter, on July 30 at 3 p.m.
Terrafirma will face Magnolia at 12:30 p.m. and TNT takes on NLEX at 6 p.m.
Another anticipated post-trade showdown will take place at 3 p.m. of Aug. 13 when Meralco, now with Mac Belo, takes on Blackwater, now featuring Baser Amer.
Magnolia and Alaska collide at 12:30 p.m. and TNT battles NorthPort at 6 p.m.
The finals rematch between Ginebra and TNT will happen right on the final game of the elimination round on Aug. 27 at 6 p.m., succeeding the 3:30 p.m. clash between Blackwater and NorthPort.
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