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PBA PH Cup set for Feb. 28 opening

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said that the PBA is adjusting its schedule to give way to Gilas' upcoming campaigns. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The PBA Philippine Cup is now set for an earlier opening than what was previously reported.

Traditionally the season-opening conference, the PBA's all-Filipino tournament, which was moved to the second half this season, will begin on Feb. 28.

Commissioner Willie Marcial says this is to give way to Gilas Pilipinas' participation in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

"Nag-adjust kami para sa Gilas. Dapat sa March 3 ang opening, pero tatamaan kasi yun, kaya [Feb. 28] na ang opening," said Marcial.

The FIBA OQT will run from July 2-7 with Gilas traveling to Riga to participate in one of four tournaments where the champion of each tournament will fill the last four spots in the Paris Olympics men's basketball event.

Marcial then explained why the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals between San Miguel and Magnolia have to start immediately.

"Etong finals nga dapat may gap ito ng isang araw. Dapat Linggo pa. Pero ito ay dahil sa Gilas, para mapakawalan na natin sa national team yung mga players na kailangan," he added, further saying that the PBA is constantly communicating with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas regarding the upcoming FIBA windows.

The PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals will begin later Friday and could end as soon as next Friday or as late as Feb. 16, at least six days before Gilas flies to Hong Kong to open their FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers campaign.

Beermen June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez are included in Gilas' lineup for the FIBA ACQ February window, and national team head coach Tim Cone said that his lineup will likely be the core of Gilas on the road to the 2027 FIBA World Cup.

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