THE PBA offers a three-conference season beginning Sunday as it does its part in helping the basketball-loving nation ease back into some normalcy after the hardest days of the pandemic.
"We'll have a full season," PBA chairman Ricky Vargas of TnT said during Wednesday's press launch of Season 47 at Conrad Hotel.
The league is back to its pre-COVID calendar of Philippine Cup, Commissioner's Cup and Governors' Cup for the coming season after being forced to do a one bubble tournament in 2020 and jacking up to two conferences last year.
"With God's grace, we survived the pandemic, we survived one conference, we survived two conferences and we'll succeed with three conferences," said Vargas.
Vargas was joined in the presser by Commissioner Willie Marcial, vice chairman Bobby Rosales of Terrafirma, treasurer Atty. Raymond Zorrilla of Phoenix, Silliman Sy of Blackwater, Rod Franco of NLEX, Eric Arejola of NorthPort, Rene Pardo of Magnolia, Atty. Mert Mondragon of Rain or Shine, Robert Non of San Miguel Beer, Alfrancis Chua of Barangay Ginebra, and Atty. Chito Salud of new team Converge.
"The biggest priority is to get back to normal and the only way we will get back to normal is to have three conferences," said Vargas.
The PBA returns to regular programming while dealing with "poaching of player" to overseas leagues by what Vargas described as "unprofessional agents."
The new season fires off on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
At 2 p.m., the league honors the Most Valuable Player and the best individual performers of Season 46. Immediately set after is the formal opening ceremonies for Season 47 - the first grand kickoff activity since March 2020 or before the COVID-19 outbreak.
An exciting double-header follows the opening rites with Converge making its PBA debut against Rain or Shine at 4:30 p.m. and TnT starting its title defense against last year's runnerup Magnolia Timplados at 6:30 p.m. (OL)(PBA)