MANILA, Philippines -- The PBA on Tuesday announced that it will hold two conferences for its upcoming 46th season, including a six-month Governors' Cup that will likely feature imports.
"We're looking forward to a 10-month season in Season 46," said Ricky Vargas, who was also re-elected chairman of the PBA Board of Governors during their two-day planning session held in the league office.
"Four months will be the All-Filipino, and six months will be the Governors' Cup," he added. "The second conference will be a double round robin conference."
The league is looking at April 11 as its opening date for the 46th season.
The PBA is looking to regain a semblance of normalcy in its upcoming season, after holding just one conference in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The All-Filipino Cup, won by Barangay Ginebra, was held in a biosecure bubble in Clark, Pampanga.
For the upcoming conference, the league is looking at a "semi-bubble" set-up where teams will follow a strict "home-venue-home" protocol. They are seeking permission from the government to hold games in Metro Manila, and are already negotiating with at least two different venues.
"Ang request natin ay NCR kasi mahihirapan talaga 'pag nasa labas tayo," said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial during Tuesday afternoon's press briefing.
The upcoming season will also see the debut of the league's 3x3 division, headed by Alaska team governor Dickie Bachmann. A total of 16 teams will compete in the division, which will run for three conferences, concurrent with the 5-on-5 competition.
"We're looking good," Vargas said of the state of the league, some three months after it concluded the All-Filipino Cup in the Clark bubble. "Despite all the challenges in 2019 and the pandemic in 2020, where a lot of our financials were really hit bad, if we do this right in 2021, this Season 46, we will be able to recover our financial standing."
"It is our hope that we are able to bring 10 months of basketball to the Philippines, starting April 11," he also said.