PBL OPENING TO PUSH THRU DESPITE DELAY ON TV DEAL
MANILA, March 10, 2004 (STAR) By Joey Villar - Top officials of the Philippine Basketball League yesterday said the season-opening second Unity Cup will push through as scheduled on March 27 although the league has yet to close its TV coverage deal with television giant ABS-CBN.
"Tuloy na sa March 27," deputy commissioner Tammy Ong told The STAR yesterday.
Ong said that they couldn’t afford to reset the opening of the league since another postponement would send the PBL schedule in conflict with National Capital Region (NCR) collegiate leagues like the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
However, he remained hopeful of finalizing the contract with ABS-CBN.
"The ball is now in their hands dahil we’ve already sent our final counter-proposal so we expect the contract —signing early next week," Ong added referring to Studio 23, a UHL channel of ABS-CBN as the league’s coveror.
"Tuloy ang (March) 27 as far as I know. I was told magse-survey muna daw sila (Studio 23) kung puwede sumabay ang PBL sa PBA," said PBL chair Dioceldo Sy, referring to the PBL scheduled games on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, the same playdates the PBA have.
But Ong said they might just opt to stick it out with its old schedule every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday since it would be costly to compete for viewership against the PBA.
The first conference was postponed from March 20 to 27 due to the protracted negotiations with ABS-CBN.
Fash Liquid Laundry Detergent, Welcoat Paints, Blustar, Sunkist-University of Santo Tomas, Montana Pawnshop, Viva Mineral Water and newcomers Toyota Otis, Letran and Lee Pipe Ateneo make up the roster of the PBL Unity Cup.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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