TODAY marks a new beginning as the 42nd season of the Philippine Basketball Association formally opens.
A new breed of talent as well as teams raring for a solid campaign are set to show the stuff they are made of.
But before the slam-bang action on the court, a bevy of beauties is bound to captivate basketball fans with their charm.
Leading the list of head-turners are Star’s muse Bb. Pilipinas International Kylie Versoza, who was recently crowned Miss International 2016, and Barangay Ginebra’s Kim Domingo, a rising GMA-7 sexy star, who is a mainstay of comedy show Bubble Gang; and young star Yassi Pressman, the muse of the defending champion San Miguel Beermen.
Other muses out to capture the ordinary PBA fan’s fancy are Ciarra Bachmann of Alaska; Diana Meneses and Janelle Olafson of Blackwater; Globalport’ Valeen Montenegro; Mahindra’s Sophia Rankin (Miss Global England 2015); Meralco’s Maxine Media Bb. Pilipinas Universe; NLEX’s Margo Midwinter (model/actress); Phoenix Petroleum’s Elisse Joson and Sofia Andres; Rain or Shine’s Justine Mae San Jose (Mutya ng Pilipinas Miss Tourism International); and TNT’s Angelica Alita (Bb.Pilipinas 1st Runner Up).
Meanwhile, powerhouse teams test each other’s mettle as defending champion San Miguel Beer takes on retooled Star at 6:30 p.m. in the initial game of the season-opening Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Prior to the formal start of hostilities, the traditional opening ceremonies are to be held first at 4 p.m.
The defending champion Beermen are considered by many as the favorites to win it all.
“Again, many consider us as the team to beat and we’re getting used to that so we need to take the challenge again,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
San Miguel Beer has kept its championship core intact and became even deeper with the addition of prolific guard RR Garcia and entry of rookie big man Arnold Van Opstal.
Three-time reigning Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross will once again lead the pack for San Miguel.
On the contrary, Star is facing a brand-new day after undergoing a major rebuilding process in the off-season.
The Hotshots will no longer have their longtime face of the franchise in James Yap after they dealt him away.
Instead, Paul Lee will now take his place and is expected to likewise be a cornerstone of the team moving forward.
Also, Star now has a new coach in Chito Victolero, who took over from Jason Webb in the off-season.
In addition, the debut of touted rookie Jio Jalalon is also highly anticipated.
Star dealt away Garcia and Alex Mallari to make room for Jalalon and see how he can impact the team.
Despite the changes, other usual suspects of Star like Peter June Simon, Marc Pingris, Mark Barroca, Allein Maliksi and Ian Sangalang are still all in tow.