Members of the PBA Board of Governors look forward to exciting talks as they hold their annual planning session in Milan, Italy next week, laying down programs for a season-long celebration of PBA Season 45 starting March 1.
Board chairman Ricky Vargas of TNT KaTropa and league commissioner Willie Marcial head the PBA delegation leaving for Italy’s northern Lombardy region metropolis Monday as they also discuss long-term plans to help sustain the league’s status as the country’s leading sports entertainment.
Vice chair Bobby Rosales of Columbian Dyip, treasurer Silliman Sy of Blackwater and other board members Alfrancis Chua (Barangay Ginebra), Robert Non (San Miguel Beer), Rene Pardo (Magnolia), Al Panlilio (Meralco), Rod Franco (NLEX), Raymond Zorrilla (Phoenix), Mert Mondragon (Rain or Shine), Erick Arejola (NorthPort) and Dickie Bachmann (Alaska Milk) all confirmed their attendance.
“It will be an exciting summit, and we’re all hopeful for fruitful talks leading to a joyful celebration of the league’s 45th season,” said Marcial.
The league is eyeing a grand season where it features the launch of the inaugural PBA 3×3 tournament to help Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas boost the sport that makes its debut as an Olympic event in Tokyo in July.
The PBA board is also likely to discuss the Gilas program geared at making good in the FIBA World Cup that the country is hosting in 2023.
For the coming initial window of the FIBA Asia qualifier in February, Gilas is likely to field a hybrid roster featuring young Gilas cadets reinforced by PBA veterans.
“The league is still in break in February, so the PBA players are free to join Gilas if they’re invited to reinforce the national team. We’ll hear from SBP president Al Panlilio,” said Marcial.
Another key topic could well be a drive to sustain the tremendous growth of PBA viewing on digital platform.
“We’ve gone heavy on digital in the past season, and we intend to continue to do so,” said Marcial.
The just-concluded PBA Season 44 was marked by greats hits PBA games enjoyed on live viewing through TV5’s digital arm.
There’s the NLEX-NorthPort triple-overtime game in the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals that drew 1.5 million views. And it was easily topped by views during the Ginebra-Meralco finals.