Basketball

Manila Clasico showdown tips off new season as PBA opens in three different cities

Sports5/Paolo Papa

Sports5/Paolo Papa

The PBA opens its 2014 season on Sunday with a historice three-game slate in three different cities.

The league will begin with simple opening ceremonies at 2 p.m. with live broadcast over TV5.

The PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup will then get into gear, with the San Mig Coffee Mixers taking on Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in a Manila Clasico showdown at 3 p.m. at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. The match will be air live on TV5.

At the same time, three-time defending champion Talk ‘N Text will begin its title-retention campaign against Meralco at the New Cebu City Coliseum. The showdown between the the Tropang Texters and the Bolts will be broadcast live over AksyonTV channel 41.

A matchup between Alaska and Rain or Shine at the University of Southeastern Philippines gym in Davao caps the tripleheader at 5:15 p.m., which will also be live over TV5.

The Manila Clasico showdown will feature an intriguing matchup between the top two picks in the draft — No.1 selection Greg Slaughter of Ginebra and No. 2 selection Ian Sangalang of San Mig Coffee.

The game will also serve as the first look at the Gin Kings’ new-look frontline, the tallest in the PBA as it pairs the 7-foot Slaughter with ultra-athletic 6-foot-9 forward Japeth Aguilar.

In Cebu, the Tropang Texters will welcome back the returning Kelly Williams, who missed the last two conferences of the past season after seeking treatment abroad. They will go up against a Meralco squad that will feature scoring ace Gary David, who joined the Bolts from the GlobalPort Batang Pier prior to the season.

In Davao, fans will be treated to a matchup between two contenders in the Elasto Painters and the Aces. Rain or Shine was a runner-up to Talk ‘N Text in the Philippine Cup last season, while Alaska made a run to the semifinals of the same tournament.

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