PBA plans to bring back invitational tournament in 42nd season

SEOUL— In its bid to broaden the PBA’s reach, the league plans to revive the invitational tournament for the 42nd season where top Asian teams will be seeded in the Governors’ Cup playoffs.

“This is one new dimension,” said incoming PBA chairman Mikee Romero, referring to the invitational tournament that could hopefully bring more fans to the pro league.

Romero, the GlobalPort team owner eyes top club teams from such Asian countries like Iran, Lebanon and South Korea.won

Setting up the invitational tournament was no longer new for the pro league.

In fact, during the PBA’s early years, American team Nicholas Stoodley won the championship in 1980 after scoring a two-game sweep of Toyota in the Finals.

In 1977, just two years after the PBA’s birth, Toyota rolled to a 3-0 sweep of Emtext Brazil, while a South Korean squad banned by the legendary Lee Chung Hee, placed third behind San Miguel and Crispa in 1982.

The most recent period the PBA held an invitational tournament was in 2003 where club teams from China, South Korea and Yugoslavia joined the pro league with Alaska emerging as champion.

The league kicks off its new season on Nov. 20 with San Miguel Beer defending its Philippine Cup title.

The Commissioner’s Cup will then, imports with a 6-10 ceiling, while the Governors’ Cup will feature imports no taller than 6-5.

“There will be no more handicapping system. The board has decided it’s time for the new teams to step up,” said Narvasa.