PBA releases official schedule; doubleheaders start Sunday

Published October 6, 2020, 1:40 PM

by Jonas Terrado

TNT and Alaska will usher the opening of the PBA restart on Sunday. (PBA Images)

TNT and Alaska officially unfurl the restart of the PBA Philippine Cup when they clash in the first game Sunday under a bubble setup at the Angeles University Foundation gym in Pampanga.

The Tropang Giga and Aces collide at 4 p.m. followed by the main game between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and NLEX Road Warriors at 6:45 p.m. according to the official schedule released by the league on Tuesday.

Word leaked out Monday night that the Ginebra-NLEX clash is among the two games slated in the league’s resumption after a seven-month layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league will hold doubleheaders every day until Nov. 11 in a move to make sure the Philippine Cup, the only conference of the 45th season, will be completed by mid-December.

The top eight teams after the 11-game elimination round schedule advance to the quarterfinals, with the No. 1 to No. 4 seeds carrying a twice-to-beat advantage. The semifinals are a best-of-five while the finals will still be a best-of-seven.

Calvin Abueva could make his much-awaited return Monday when Phoenix Super LPG squares off with Meralco at 4 p.m. Abueva was included in the Fuel Masters’ official lineup and will be “eligible to play upon completion of requirements.”

Abueva on Monday attended a virtual seminar of the Games and Amusements Board and is also required to take a mandatory drug test which can be done inside the Clark bubble.

Meralco will have center Raymond Almazan back after hurting his knee during Game 3 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals against Ginebra in mid-January.

NorthPort, which will play sans Robert Bolick, meets Blackwater, which will finally see the debut of new coach Nash Racela, in Monday’s nightcap at 6:45 p.m.

San Miguel Beer, shooting for a sixth straight Philippine Cup crown, makes its bubble debut on Tuesday against Rain or Shine at 4 p.m. carrying a 1-0 record after the league decided to include the Beermen’s 94-78 win over the Magnolia Hotshots last March 8 in the standings.

Terrafirma (formerly Columbian) sees action for the first time opposite TNT at 6:45 p.m., also on Tuesday.

Magnolia aims to bounce back from that loss against SMB on Wednesday against NLEX.

One Sports and PBA Rush will broadcast all games, with TV5 airing doubleheaders every Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.