PBA  TO  STAGE  RECORD OUT-OF-TOWN  GAMES THIS SEASON

MANILA,  September 9, 2004  (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - The Philippine Basketball Association will spend enough time on the road in the coming PBA All-Filipino Conference, covering practically the entire country as it stages a record number of 20 out-of-town games.

The tournament, to be telecast by ABC-5, opens Oct. 3 at the Araneta Coliseum with San Miguel Beer and Talk n Text squaring off in the opening game.

The All-Filipino out-of-town sorties start in Mindanao with stops in Zamboanga on Oct. 7, Cagayan de Oro on Oct. 12 and Butuan City on Oct. 14. The Zamboanga game pits San Miguel Beer vs Sta. Lucia Realty.

Then the tournament goes on an island-hopping spree with visits in Bohol on Oct. 19, Dumaguete City on Oct. 21, Bacolod on Oct. 26, Iloilo Oct. 28, Gen. Santos City on Nov. 4, Ormoc City on Nov. 9, Tacloban on Nov. 11, Cebu on Oct. 16 then Palawan on Nov. 19.

Towards the latter part of the eliminations, the league holds games in key cities and municipalities of Luzon. The first game in the region is set in Lucena on Nov. 23, followed by games in Sta. Cruz, Laguna on Nov. 25, Batangas City on Nov. 30, Cavite on Dec. 2, Subic Dec. 7, San Fernando Dec. 14 and Dagupan City Dec. 16.

The league is still looking for a host for its Dec. 9 game.

"Were getting so much requests from the provinces for us to visit them and were just glad to accept their requests," said PBA executive assistant and media bureau chief Willie Marcial.

"Our out-of-town games drew sellout crowds last year. We expect the same turnout this year although the main idea really is to reach out to our fans," Marcial added.

The road games are scheduled Tuesdays and Thursdays with the Metro Manila games now back to the Wednesday-Friday-Sunday set-up.

To accommodate ABC-5s early evening news program, schedule of the PBA games will be adjusted


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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