PBA 2021 news: Opening triple-header, full schedule, key games, format and more

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After several delays, the 2021 season of the PBA will finally commence on July 16 with a triple-header at the Ynares Center in Pasig.

Alaska will face Blackwater, Rain or Shine will battle NLEX, while Meralco will square off with NorthPort in the Friday opening slate which begins at 12:30 p.m.

An opening ceremony will precede the games starting at 11 in the morning.

The Batang Pier will have a first look at former top overall pick Greg Slaughter making his debut following a trade which saw Christian Standhardinger move to Barangay Ginebra.

The full schedule can be accessed here.

Some key games to look out for include the following:

  • July 17 (Saturday): Top overall pick Joshua Munzon’s debut for Terrafirma against TNT’s returning head coach Chot Reyes and Kelly Williams
  • July 17 (Saturday): Calvin Abueva makes his Magnolia Hotshots debut against no less than former team Phoenix Super LPG
  • July 18 (Sunday): June Mar Fajardo’s return to action when San Miguel Beer faces Meralco
  • July 18 (Sunday): Defending champion Barangay Ginebra starts its title defense with Standhardinger
  • July 24 (Saturday): Vic Manuel’s first game against Alaska following his trade to Phoenix Super LPG
  • July 25 (Sunday): Manila Clasico clash between Magnolia Hotshots and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel
  • August 1 (Sunday): San Miguel Beer vs Barangay Ginebra
  • August 6 (Friday): Beau Belga and Rain or Shine vs Barangay Ginebra
  • August 6 (Friday): Magnolia Hotshots vs San Miguel Beer
  • August 18 (Wednesday): TNT Tropang Giga vs San Miguel Beer in a clash of MVP and SMC heavyweights
  • August 27 (Friday): A rematch of last year’s Philippine Cup finals between TNT and Barangay Ginebra

The PBA returned to its bubble format for the Philippine Cup, taking in the top eight teams after the elimination round.

The top two teams will have twice-to-beat advantages over the seventh and eighth seeds. Best of 3 quarter-final series shall proceed for the 3 vs 6 and 4 vs 5 pairings.

Semi-finals and finals series, on the other hand, shall be Best of 7.

To speed up the first conference, the PBA has adopted triple-header game days.

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Levi Verora