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GRAND PBA 2014 SEASON OPENING MULLED

12:10 AM October 26, 2013

After Game Seven of the Petron Blaze – San Mig Coffee finale – the last game of PBA Season 38, the country’s premier cage league takes only a 22-day breather before reopening shop.

Being mulled is an innovative program spread over the country’s three major islands to celebrate the opening of the 2014 PBA Season on November 17.

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A proposal being looked at is grand festivities highlighted by simultaneous games in Manila, Cebu and Davao with a theme “Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao: One Nation.”

Six teams, with their muses, parade at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, two at the New Cebu Coliseum and two at a Davao playing venue.

The Smart Araneta Coliseum match, to be tipped off at 3 p.m., will be telecast live on TV5, followed by the Davao game at 5 p.m. and finally the Cebu tiff at 7 p.m.

“The Board is open to the proposal. It’s not simple. It requires much logistics. They’re now looking at how this can be done,” said PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial.

The PBA has never gone out of town for its inaugurals in its first 38 years of being.

The Big Dome, however, still serves as the main venue where incoming Board chairman Ramon Segismundo of Meralco will declare the season open.

The Smart Araneta Coliseum also hosts most of the games in PBA Season 39 that holds four regular double-headers in a week – Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

It’s still part of the adjustments the league made in its calendar to give way to Gilas Pilipinas’ participation in the last FIBA Asia tourney.

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The new PBA season ends by the second week of August 2014, giving coach Chot Reyes and Gilas at least two weeks of dedicated training for the 2014 World Championship in Spain.

Several stars in new teams and a bumper crop of rookies will be in showcase for the league’s 2014 season.

Among the freshmen to watch are Greg Slaughter, Ian Sangalang, Raymond Almazan, Terrence Romeo, RR Garcia, Jeric Teng, Nico Salva and Justin Chua.

Their takers will be known on November 3 when the 2013 PBA Rookie Draft is held at Midtown Robinson’s Manila.

Barangay Ginebra is tipped to exercise its rights on the top pick on 7-foot-1 Slaughter while San Mig Coffee is expected to make 6-foot-7 Sangalang as the second choice. (SB)

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