EXCITING action resumes today as the 40th Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup starts at The Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Expansion team Kia Sorento under playing coach Manny Pacquiao faces Globalport in the opening game at 4:15 p.m. while Ginebra Kings battle Meralco Bolts at 7 p.m.
The import-laden conference will have a busy five-game a week schedules with playing days set Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
PBA Commissioner Chito Salud said that the schedule is designed to finish the season early to allow the Philippine national team to prepare for the 2015 FIBA-Asia Championship scheduled to be held in China as a qualifying tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Kia Sorento, which won only once in the recent Philippine cup, will parade 7’4 Peter John Ramos, a former member of the Puerto Rican national team, who will be pitted against Calvin CJ Leslie of Batang Pier.
Ginebra will field former Air 21 import Michael Dunigan and Meralco Josh Davis.
Other imports already declared eligible by the PBA are Alaska’s D. J. Covington, NLEX’ Al Thornton and Blackwater’s Chris Charles, Rain Or Shine’s 6’8 Rick Jackson, Barako Bull’s 7’0 Solomon Alabi and Talk ‘N’ Text’s 6’6 Richard Howell. Globalport’s original choice Rod Benson was measured at 6’9 1/8 when the limit for all the teams, except the last four placers in the Philippine Cup, is 6’9.
No height limit were imposed to imports in the last four spots, among them No. 9 Barako Bull, No. 10 NLEX, No. 11 Kia and No. 12 Blackwater.
After learning that Daniel Orton, a former University of Kentucky forward is still playing in the Chinese league, Purefoods coach Tim Cone recalled Marqus Blakely as interim import. San Miguel Beer is facing a problem as original pick Arinze Onuaku may be playing for the NBA instead.