|Arwind Santos will play for the first time as a Batang Pier right at the start of the PBA Governors' Cup. PBA Images (file photo)|
MANILA--A new era ushers in for NorthPort as Arwind Santos will make his debut with the team right at the start of the PBA Governors' Cup.
As released by the league on Friday, the Batang Pier, now featuring the six-foot-four twinner forward, will face the Alaska Aces in the first game of the import-spiced conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Interestingly enough, Santos' former team, San Miguel, is also scheduled to play on Wednesday, battling NLEX in the nightcap at 6 p.m.
Like NorthPort, the other three teams in action on Opening Night are also beginning a new chapter in their colorful franchise histories.
Alaska begins life without Jvee Casio and Barkley Ebona but with Mike Tolomia against NorthPort.
NLEX, on the other hand, will welcome back Marion Magat against San Miguel, which is still reeling from separate trades in which the team let go of two members of its "Death 5", Santos and Alex Cabagnot.
Cabagnot will debut with Terrafirma the day after also at the Ynares Sports Arena as the team opens the Thursday doubleheader against Phoenix.
In the main game at 6 p.m., a newly-retooled Blackwater team led by new coach Ariel Vanguardia will debut against Rain Or Shine.
On Friday night, the Batang Pier take on the Road Warriors at 3 p.m., while the Beermen battle the Aces at 6 p.m.
On Saturday night, the Fuel Masters take on the Bossing at 4 p.m., while the Elasto Painters clash with the Dyip at 6:45 p.m.
On Sunday night, Santos will face his former team as NorthPort takes on SMB at 4 p.m.
In the nightcap, Ginebra, featuring resident import Justin Brownlee, begins its title defense against Alaska at 6:45 p.m.
Just like the previous editions, all the 12 teams will play a single round-robin elimination round with the top eight teams qualifying for the quarterfinals.
The teams at the upper half of the Final 8 will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage against the other four quarterfinalists.
The quarterfinal survivors will face off in two best-of-five semifinals with the winners clashing in the best-of-seven finals.
Like the usual, a two-way tie for the eighth seed will be broken by a knockout game between the two teams involved, while logjams at the other quarterfinal seeds will be separated by the quotient system.
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