• Beermen face Fuel Masters in PBA Season 43 opener


    June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer scores against Ian Sangalang of Star during a PBA Philippine Cup game at the Araneta Coliseum.

    Defending champion San Miguel Beer begins its title-retention bid as it clashes against Phoenix in the opening day of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 43 Philippine Cup on December 17 at the Araneta Coliseum.

    The Beermen, who are seeking a historic fourth straight Philippine Cup crown, face the Fuel Masters at 6:30 p.m. right after opening ceremonies at 4 p.m.

    Phoenix will be under its new coach Louie Alas and fourth overall pick Jason Perkins against San Miguel, which will miss the services of its top pick Christian Standhardinger, who has still a commitment with the other league.

    No. 2 overall pick Kiefer Ravena will have his PBA debut when his Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) battles Kia on December 20 at The Arena in San Juan City.

    The Road Warriors and the Picanto will face off in the opener at 4:15 p.m. to be followed by the tussle between Magnolia (formerly Star) and Alaska game at 7 p.m.

    Third overall pick Reymar Jose and Blackwater will play Meralco at 4:15 p.m. while Rain or Shine meets TNT KaTropa in the second game at 7 p.m. on December 22 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

    On Christmas Day, the league will return to the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan as GlobalPort and NLEX meet at 3 p.m. while the Hotshots and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel face off in the main game at 5:15 p.m.

    Phoenix and Kia clash at 4:15 p.m. on December 27 to be followed by the match between the Beermen and Meralco at 7 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum.

    The Elite and the Elasto Painters collide at 4:15 p.m. on December 29 to be followed by the Aces-KaTropa match at 7 p.m. at the Cuneta Astrodome.

    The league just released a partial schedule, as the board has yet to resolve the issue on the extension of commissioner Chito Narvasa.

    “The league will proceed and the games will be played as scheduled but we cannot talk about the issue,” said Blackwater team owner Sy.

    “I hope by next week there is already a solution although there’s an improvement compared to last week but very slow,” he added.

    Seven governors headed by Patrick Gregorio of TNT, Ramon Fernandez of NLEX, Al Panlilio of Meralco, Momerto Mondragon of Rain or Shine, Dickie Bachmann of Alaska, Raymond Zorilla of Phoenix and Siliman Sy of Blackwater have decided not to renew Narvasa’s term citing lack of trust and confidence.

    But the other five squads, led by the San Miguel Corp. group, wanted Narvasa to stay as commissioner.


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