by Jonas Terrado
CALASIAO, Pangasinan — The PBA is not closing the door on possibly returning to a two-conference format in order to give the national team enough preparation time for future international tournaments.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said the league is weighing the pros and cons of the format amid clamor from mostly fans who expressed concerns over Gilas Pilipinas’ lack of preparation time for the FIBA World Cup in China.
Gilas had earlier shelved plans of competing in the William Jones Cup in Taiwan as it would affect the busy PBA calendar.
The PBA began its 44th season last January and will end in January next year due to the World Cup and the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games in November.
“May mga nagsasabi na gawing dalawang conference na lang, ang problema may kontrata tayo sa marketing,” Marcial said. “At maski gawin nating two conferences, di natin alam kung kailan tatama. Tatamaan at tatamaan pa din tayo.”
(“Some are saying that the season should be two conferences but we have marketing contracts and we’re unsure as of the calendar of the international tournaments.”)
“Pinag-aaralan namin kung papaano pero ang problema din sa two conferences maglalaylay din magiging no bearing sa mga huling months (ng season). Pag-aaralan namin kung papaano di magiging no bearing sa dulo,” he added.
(“We’re studying the possibility of having two conferences and avoid having a lot of no-bearing games in the final months of the season.”)
A two-conference season was implemented from 2004 to 2010 with the centerpiece Philippine Cup and the import-laced Fiesta Conference before reverting back to the traditional three-conference format.
The league had multiple two-week breaks last season to give Gilas a chance to prepare for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.
Last February, the PBA halted action for the sixth window which saw Gilas securing World Cup qualification with road wins over Qatar and Kazakhstan.