From my manila standard column, Sept. 17, 2010
The PBA Board of Governors will be going to Bangkok for their annual out of the country meeting in preparation for the 36th season which kicks off on October 3, Sunday, at the Big Dome. This meeting was supposed to take place a few weeks ago, in Hong Kong, but because of unforeseen circumstances, the Board deemed it wise to postpone it, and to change venue.
The many changes already set to take place is keeping the PBA fan community abuzz this pre-season. One of the major things to look forward to is the league’s return to a 3 conference format.
The first conference will be the longer, traditional, Philippine Cup where the 10 teams will be divided into 2 groups and will have 14 games total in the eliminations, playing their group mates once, and the other group contenders twice. This is set from October 3 to maybe February 6. There will be a Christmas day game, then there will be a break till January 4.
The 2nd conference is the Commissioner’s Cup, held from February 20 till about May 15. The proposal is that the imports will have a 6’4” height limit. This will just be a single round elimination, and the bottom 4 teams are immediately eliminated.
The All Star Week will be set on the week of May 20th, with the venue still to be determined and approved.
The Governor’s Cup will be held just a week after the all-stars and the competitions will be possibly till August 19 of 2011. There will be a handicapping system that will be applied to determine the allowable height limit of their import. The proposal states that based on their team season standings after the eliminations of the 2nd conference, the top 4 teams’ imports will be limited to 6’2”, the next 4 will have a 6’4” limit, while the last 2 teams’ imports will be at most 6’6”.
Fans have expressed their excitement over the 3 conference format. Here are some of the reactions via twitter:
@atletajericho: Let's face it, fans buy tickets on games featuring BGK, SMB, BMeg, Alaska, and TNT. The 3 conference format matches these teams up more. Also, more playoff games, semis games, and finals games. Total of 21 possible Finals games compared to 14.
@salad_oh: 3-conference format is way better because it will boost gate attendance since there will be more playoff games.
@chasemeTIN: more games to watch and no non-bearing games to play.
@NardyM: I just wish the return to the old format does bring back the fans. The possibility of a Grand slam gives more prestige also.
@batangKury3nt3: Perhaps the most challenging path of the of team to achieve - Grandslam; 3 straight championships in one season!
@mjmangila: For me 3 conference is better because teams have more chances to win a title and for me we have chance to see again a grand slam
@digitalsuperman: It’s good for the league because it would mean more gate receipts and more games for TV coverage thus more income for the PBA.
@demonbear247: I can see why they go for 3. People have short attention spans. The league has to keep things fresh and exciting.
@perc3ptions: 3-conference format means lesser games in the elims, therefore will somehow bring the elimination games level to playoff standards.
@ko_aiks: More exciting games, less no-bearing games and we'll be able to see some major major upset when the lower ranked team gets to beat the top seeded team! no more automatic semis slots for the top 2 teams so there'll be no reason for coaches to say that they loss the series because of the long lay-off.. I'm excited for the upcoming PBA season.. Can't wait!
@Alvin_Louis: 3-conference format gives teams a chance to build & showcase a dynasty. Shows how a team performs in 3 different settings 3x a year.
@jaredchua3: The shorter conferences will make every game a little more exciting. Every game suddenly becomes more crucial.
@cho831: more games to watch. More imports to look forward to. Better chance 4 d weaker team. In short, more of everything.
@iammonry: more playoffs games :) . every game is like a championship game. the shorter the better.
For more of your thoughts, go to www.twitter.com/patriciahizon