Philippine Basketball Association
|Current season or competition:
2013 PBA Governors' Cup
|Founded||April 9, 1975|
|Motto||Sa'n Ka? Kampihan Na! (What's your side? Time to choose!)|
|No. of teams||10|
|Continent||FIBA Asia (Asia)|
|Most recent champion(s)||Philippine - Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters
Commissioner's - Alaska Aces
Governors - Rain or Shine Elasto Painters
|Most titles||Petron Blaze Boosters (19 titles)|
|TV partner(s)||Sports5} on TV5
AksyonTV International (Middle East/Guam)
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is a men's professional basketball league in the Philippines composed of ten company-branded franchised teams. It was the first professional basketball league in Asia and is the second oldest in the world after the NBA. The league's regulations are a hybrid of rules from FIBA and the NBA.
The league played its first game at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on April 9, 1975. Its individual team offices are directed out of PBA head offices located in Eastwood City in Quezon City. The league is currently headed by Commissioner Chito Salud.
The Philippine Basketball Association was founded when nine teams left the now-defunct Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA), which was tightly controlled by the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP; now defunct), the FIBA-recognized national association at the time. With the BAP controlling the MICAA, the league was de jure amateur, as players were only paid allowances. This is much like what was done in other countries to circumvent the amateur requirement and to play in FIBA-sanctioned tournaments such as the Olympics. With the PBA out of the BAP's control, they could freely pay salaries to their players, making the PBA the oldest professional basketball league outside the United States. However, this also led to the league's players being barred from playing in FIBA-sanctioned tournaments.
Leopoldo Prieto, the coach for the Philippines at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, was appointed as the first commissioner and Domingo Itchon of Tanduay was chosen as the league's first president. The first game of the league was held at the Araneta Coliseum on April 9, 1975, featuring Mariwasa-Noritake and Concepcion Carrier.
The league's first 10 years was known for the intense rivalry of the Crispa Redmanizers and the Toyota Tamaraws, still considered as one of the greatest rivalries in league history. Big names such as Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Francis Arnaiz, Atoy Co, Bogs Adornado and Philip Cezar played for those squads before the two teams disbanded in 1983 and 1984 respectively. Following their disbandment, the league moved from the Araneta Coliseum to ULTRA in Pasig. There, the league continued to be popular, as several former Toyota and Crispa players suited up for different teams.
During the mid to late 80s, Jaworski and Ginebra San Miguel became the league's most popular squad for its "never say die" attitude. The team had intense rivalries with the Tanduay Rhum Masters and Jaworski's then-rival Fernandez, and later the expansion Purefoods Corporation and players Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codiñera, Jojo Lastimosa and Fernandez.
In 1989, FIBA voted to allow professionals to play in their sanctioned tournaments, hence the PBA's players are now able to represent the country internationally. In 1990, the league sent its first all-professional squad to the Asian Games, earning a silver medal. The PBA would later send three more all-pro squads to the event.
The early 1990s saw Ginebra and Shell forming an intense rivalry that included Ginebra's walkout in 1990 finals against Shell and the team's dramatic comeback from a 3-1 deficit to beat Shell in the 1991 First Conference. Patrimonio, Allan Caidic, and a host of others became the league's main attraction.
From 1999-2000, the PBA endured controversy. Several expatriate cagers arrived on the scene (such as Asi Taulava, Danny Seigle and Eric Menk). Their lineage was questionable and most of them were deported for falsifying documents. The arrival of dozens of these players was a counter to the fledging Metropolitan Basketball Association, a regional-based professional league formed in 1998. After ABS-CBN's 2001 abandonment, the MBA faced mounting expenses and would fold within a year. Despite the MBA's disbandment and the arrival of those players to the PBA, attendance went sour for the PBA in 2002 and was even worse the following year.
In 2004, the league introduced drastic scheduling changes, when it decided to begin the season in October instead of January. The change in starting the season allowed the league to accommodate international tournaments held from June to September and it fit better with college hoops, the NCAA and the UAAP, whose seasons run from June to October. The league also reduced the number of conferences from three to two, renaming the All-Filipino Cup as the Philippine Cup and introducing a new import laden tournament named as the Fiesta Conference. To accommodate these changes, a transitional tournament, the 2004 PBA Fiesta Conference was held from February to July, which was won by the Barangay Ginebra Kings. The league also began to hold the annual All-Star weekend in the provinces, alternating from Luzon and Visayas/Mindanao provinces every year.
The league gained some popularity by this year, thanks in large part to Barangay Ginebra's three PBA championships led by Menk and Mark Caguioa. Solid marketing and arrival of collegiate stars from the UAAP and the NCAA also worked in the PBA's favor.
By 2005, the league would take on the role of Philippine national representation under Chot Reyes, when FIBA lifted the suspension of the country following the formation of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas despite a ninth place finish in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship. In 2009, however, the all-amateur Smart Gilas team became the country's official representative in international competitions. The PBA's role in forming a national team was thus reduced to sending up reinforcements to beef up the national squad.
After the appointment of Chito Salud, son of former commissioner Rudy Salud as the commissioner of the PBA, the league returned the three-conference format starting in the 2010-11 season. This also ushered the return of the previously retired conferences, the Commissioner's and Governors' cups.
The beginning of 2010's also saw the dominance of the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters, who nearly got the Grand Slam in the 2010-11 season and successfully defended the Philippine Cup in 2012, the first team to do so after Great Taste in 1985.
Unlike other leagues, there is no "season champion" of the PBA. Instead, the season is divided into conferences or tournaments (not to be confused with the definition of a "conference" in a sporting context as a grouping of teams based on geography or historical affiliation), wherein the teams compete for a conference cup. The winners of the conference cups do not face each other at the end of the season to determine the season; instead all conference champions are league champions, with the Philippine Cup being the most prestigious conference of the season.
A season was usually composed of three conferences. From the 2010-11 season, the conferences were named Philippine, Commissioner's and Governors' Cups, usually ending in a best-of-seven series where the winner took the conference cup. If the same team won all of the conferences, the team was said to be the "Grand Slam" champion. A draft was held in August, with the season-ending Governors Cup ending in July. An opening ceremonies is held before the start of the first game of the season.
All franchises are owned by corporations. They are not based on geographic locale, so they do not play in a "home stadium." The league rents the different stadiums in which the teams play.
A team's name is often divided into three parts; the first is the company name, then the product, then a nickname - usually connected to the business of the company. For example, the Petron Blaze Boosters is a team owned by San Miguel Corporation, with the " boosters" nickname denoting the Petron's Blaze product. Product names are sometimes omitted or merged with the team's nickname. Though the company name rarely changes, the product name and nickname change frequently, maximizing the publicity that the league can give to a company's goods.
|Philippine Basketball Association current teams|
|Team||Company||Colors||Joined PBA||Titles||Head Coach|
|Air21 Express||Airfreight 2100, Inc.‡||2011 from the original Barako Bull Energy Boosters||0||Franz Pumaren|
|Alaska Aces||Alaska Milk Corp.||1986 from the San Miguel Beermen||14||Luigi Trillo|
|Barako Bull Energy Cola||Energy Food and Drinks Inc.‡||2002 from the revived Tanduay Rhum Masters||0||Bong Ramos|
|Barangay Ginebra San Miguel||Ginebra San Miguel, Inc.♯||1979||8||Alfrancis Chua|
|GlobalPort Batang Pier||Sultan 900 Capital, Inc.||2012 from Powerade||0||Junel Baculi|
|Meralco Bolts||Manila Electric Company°||2010 from Sta. Lucia||0||Ryan Gregorio|
|Petron Blaze Boosters||Petron Corporation♯||1975-1985, 1986**||19||Olsen Racela|
|Rain or Shine Elasto Painters||Asian Coatings Philippines, Inc.||2006 from the Shell Turbo Chargers||1||Yeng Guiao|
|San Mig Coffee Mixers||San Miguel-Pure Foods Co., Inc.♯||1988 from the original Tanduay Rhum Makers||9||Tim Cone|
|Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters||Pilipino Telephone Corp.°||1990||5||Norman Black|
- (♯) - denotes a San Miguel Corporation subsidiary.
- (°) - denotes a MVP group subsidiary.
- (‡) - denotes a Linaheim Corporate Services subsidiary.
- (**) - the San Miguel Beermen took a leave of absence on the first two conferences of the 1986 season.
Barangay Ginebra has owned the distinction of most popular team in the league for many years. Its popularity can be traced to the recruitment of the backcourt tandem of Robert Jaworski and Francis Arnaiz, both former Toyota players. Fans of Toyota followed the two stalwarts to Ginebra after the Toyota team disbanded in 1983.
In 2008, however, a survey showed that Purefoods shares the honor of league's most popular ballclub with Ginebra. It appeared that Ginebra was the most popular team among men, while Purefoods was the most popular among women. Also, Ginebra was more popular in Metro Manila and Luzon and in classes ABC, while Purefoods was more popular in Visayas and Mindanao and in class D. The two teams were tied for most supporters in class E. In terms of percentage of supporters, the survey showed that, after Ginebra and Purefoods (which both got 31%), are Magnolia (21%), Alaska (13%), Sta. Lucia (5%), Red Bull (4%), Talk N' Text (3%), Coca-Cola (1%), and Air 21 (1%).
Notably, the top three teams that have the most supporters have also been considered as the most talent-laden teams. They also fall under the San Miguel Corporation umbrella. With these three teams acquiring players through allegedly lopsided trades and performing strong in the past several seasons, the PBA has been considered by some as an "SMC league".
In August 2010, rumors surfaced about a possible Purefoods departure from the league. There were reports that San Miguel tried to sell the food processing company. It was suggested that even the loss of the brand name might have a tremendous impact on its popularity. However, the sale did not push through and the Purefoods PBA franchise stayed and was renamed B-Meg Llamados.
Defunct and guest teams
Among guest teams, most notable was the American Nicholas Stoodley team that won the 1980 Invitational Conference.
- A game consists of four 12-minute quarters, the NBA standard.
- The three-point line's distance is set back to 6.75 m (22.1 feet), which is the FIBA's three-point distance for international competitions.
- Post up players can now muscle their way into the basket without automatically getting a foul called.
- A player can now hang on the rim after a dunk without getting called for a technical foul.
- Zone defenses are allowed, the FIBA standard.
- A team enters the penalty situation after the fifth foul in a quarter, with each successive foul entitling the fouled player to two free-throw attempts. In the last two minutes of regulation, both teams are only allowed one foul to give, as in NBA rules. Overtime periods allow each team two fouls in the first three minutes and one foul in the last two minutes, as in NBA rules.
- Newcomers enter the league via a draft.
- Non-Filipinos can play as "imports" and only in certain conferences. Currently in the Commissioner's Cup, imports of unlimited height are allowed to play. In the Governor's Cup imports within the height limit of 6'5" are allowed to play.
- The league implements the Trent Tucker Rule.
- An advantage foul, similar to the "unsportsmanlike foul" of FIBA rules, is called when the offensive player is fouled by an opposing player while in a fastbreak situation without going for the ball. The offense is given two free throws and regains the ball.
- Leopoldo Prieto (1975-1983)
- Col. Mariano Yenko (1983-1987)
- Atty. Rodrigo Salud (1988-1992)
- Reynaldo Marquez (1992-1993)
- Emilio Bernardino, Jr. (1993-2002)
- Jose Emmanuel Eala (2003-2007)
- Renauld Barrios (2008-2010), (officer-in-charge from 2007–08)
- Atty. Angelico Salud (2010-present)
Most of the league's present star players are also members of the Philippine national team. In a 38-year historical period, Filipino basketball fans have seen the likes of Samboy Lim, Allan Caidic, Hector Calma, Ramon Fernandez, Robert Jaworski, Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc, Alvin Patrimonio, Vergel Meneses, Johnny Abarrientos, Danny Seigle and Danny Ildefonso take center stage. Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio are the only players to win four Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards.
Benjie Paras was the first and only player to win the league Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in the same year (1989). Vergel Meneses is the only player to win four All-Star MVP awards, while Danny Ildefonso is the only player to have won five Philippine Basketball Association Best Player of the Conference Awards.
The league has awarded the MVP award since 1975 and the Rookie of the Year award since 1976. Other lesser awards are handed out at the end of the season; the Best Player and Best Import of the Conference awards are handed out at the end of the conferences.
The San Miguel-Petron franchise (under the names Beermen and Blaze Boosters) currently is the winningest team (19 championships) followed by Alaska Aces with 13 crowns. Among disbanded teams, the Crispa Redmanizers have the most championships (13), while rival Toyota Super Corollas ended with nine. The Jun Bernardino Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Philippine Cup while the Commissioner's and Governors' cups were awarded to their respective tournament winners.
PBA records and clubs
There are all-time records written in Philippine Basketball Association records, as well as distinctions like the PBA 2,000 Assists Club, PBA 500 Three-Point Club, PBA 600 Most Game Club, and PBA Top 40 Rebounder.
The most famous matchup was the Crispa-Toyota rivalry of the 1970s. Fans faithfully supported their favorite squads and appeared in the multitudes at the Araneta Coliseum, or wherever the archrivals had met. In those days, the players were very passionate. On one occasion, they engaged in a major brawl, leading to the arrest and detention of several players from both clubs at Fort Bonifacio.
The most heated rivalry in the PBA today is that of two teams representing the Ginebra franchise and the Purefoods franchise. The rivalry is now commonly known as the Manila Clasico. It traces its roots on the original Añejo–Purefoods rivalry of the late 1980s.
Other short-lived or less intense rivalries include:
- Tanduay vs Ginebra (1986-1987 rivalry)
- Añejo/Ginebra vs Shell (1990s rivalry)
- San Miguel vs Purefoods (late 1980s to 1990s rivalry)
- Purefoods vs Swift (1990s corporate rivalry)
- Purefoods vs. Alaska (1990s rivalry)
- Añejo/Ginebra vs San Miguel (late-1980s to present rivalry)
- Ginebra/Gordon's Gin vs Alaska (late-1980s to present rivalry)
- Alaska vs San Miguel (late-90s to the early millennium rivalry)
- Red Bull vs. the San Miguel franchises (Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel and Purefoods, 2000-2007)
- Purefoods Tender Juicy/B-Meg/San Mig Coffee vs. Rain or Shine (2009–present, "New Age Rivalry")
- San Miguel/Petron Blaze vs Talk 'N Text (2011–present rivalry)
The PBA has been covered by television and other media since its opening day. Their current TV and radio partners are TV5, AksyonTV and Radyo5 respectively. Former radio partners include DZRH 666 and DZRJ Radyo Bandido 810. The PBA can also be watched worldwide on AksyonTV
- PBA on KBS (1975, 1977)
- PBA on BBC (1976)
- PBA on GTV (1978-1981)
- PBA on Vintage Sports (1982-1999)
- PBA on Viva TV (2000-2002)
- Aired on IBC from 2000 to 2002
- PBA on NBN and IBC (2003)
- Parallel broadcasts on NBN and IBC; later IBC simulcasts of the NBN broadcasts. IBC stopped airing the games on October 2003.
- PBA on ABC (2004-2008)
- Became known as the PBA on TV5 after ABC re-formatted on August 2008.
- PBA on Solar Sports (2008-2011)
- PBA on Sports5 (2011-Present)
A majority of elimination round games are held in the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City and the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. When both arenas are unavailable, the alternate venues are the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay and the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. Occasionally, provincial games are hosted in selected venues throughout the country. Playoff games are usually held at venues in Metro Manila, most often at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. However, recent incentives to promote the league throughout the country have resulted in out-of-town games, including Game 1 of the 2010–11 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, which was held in Victorias, Negros Occidental.
- Bartholomew, Rafe. "Pacific Rims". New American Library, 2010, p. 13.
- Bartholomew 2010, p. 13.
- Revolution, evolution, and the tale of the undersized PBA forward, Jay P. Mercado, InterAKTV, April 8, 2012
- Jaworski and the birth of ‘Never Say Die’, Jay P. Mercado, InterAKTV, March 7, 2012
- "Ginebra's history", ginebraonline, retrieved September 3, 2010
- "SWS Sports Survey: Purefoods and Ginebra tie as most popular in PBA", Social Weather Stations, retrieved August 14, 2008
- "Kings, Giants are most popular PBA teams", The Manila Times Internet Edition, retrieved August 16, 2008
- "SWS: Purefoods, Ginebra tied as most popular teams in PBA", GMANews.tv, retrieved August 16, 2008
- "Favorite Philippine Basketball Association Teams: By Sex, April 2008", Social Weather Stations, retrieved August 15, 2008
- "Favorite Philippine Basketball Association Teams: By Area and Class, April 2008", Social Weather Stations, retrieved August 15, 2008
- "Favorite Philippine Basketball Association Teams: Philippines, April 2008", Social Weather Stations, retrieved August 15, 2008
- "The SMC League", Fire Quinito, retrieved February 8, 2010
- "PBA: Purefoods out, Meralco in?", Allvoices, retrieved August 11, 2010
- "Purefoods PBA franchise to stay -- for now", GMANews.tv, retrieved August 23, 2010
- "Exec: New rules to make PBA games more exciting", GMANews.tv, retrieved September 20, 2009
- www.abs-cbnnews.com, Sonny Barios named new PBA commish
- www.abs-cbnnews.com,Barrios named PBA commish
- "Perpetual Cup to go to PBA 3-peat winner". Manila Bulletin. January 23, 2007. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- "PBA legends recall league's greatest moments". GMANews.TV. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
- Tordecilla, Jaemark. "Manila Clasico: Why the Ginebra-Purefoods rivalry endures". InterAKTV. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "Llamados, Painters new age rivals in the PBA", GMANews.tv, retrieved July 19, 2010
- "Talk 'N Text bags Phil Cup Crown", PBA news, retrieved February 4, 2011
- "Petron Blaze claims Governors' Cup", PBA news, retrieved August 21, 2011
- "Corporate - Araneta Coliseum". Araneta Coliseum. 2006. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
- Castillo, Grace (18 January 2011). "San Miguel enters final of PBA Philippine Cup". American Chronicle (Ultio, LLC.). Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- Official website
- PBA Store - Official
- Team Pilipinas
- PBA Livestream on philstar.com