PBA celebrates 35th anniversary

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

A WEEKLONG filled with prizes and surprises mark the 35th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

The celebration starts on April 9 - the same date Asia's first ever play for pay league held its first ever double header - with Derby Ace and Air21 squaring off in an explosive main game match-up at the Cuneta Astrodome, before it winds down on April 18 highlighted by the showdown between Barangay Ginebra and defending Fiesta Cup champion San Miguel at the Araneta Coliseum.

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A series of activities has been lined up by the league during that one-week stretch, including the reunion of members of the four teams (Mariwasa-Noritake, Concepcion, U-Tex and Toyota) that saw action during the league's inaugural games in 1975.

The PBA is trying to arrange the appearance of remaining players from each ball clubs in every game date of the week-long celebration, including cage greats Ramon Fernandez and Robert Jaworski Sr.

Big prizes ranging from laptops and television sets are also to be given away while cash prizes for the PBA Bingo Bola will also be increased.

Special guest performers at halftime of each game day will also spice up the league's anniversary presentation.

"We want to make our 35th anniversary celebration simple yet entertaining and fulfilling especially to basketball fans who have been our life blood and the major reason why the PBA has remained as the country's top sports entertainment throughout these years," said league commission Renauld ‘Sonny’ Barrios.

Spitfire guard Joy Dionisio of Concepcion Carrier herald the beginning of the oldest professional league in Asia when he nailed a short jumper for the very first basket in PBA history back in 1975.

A crowd of 18,000 filled every nook and crany of the Araneta Coliseum 35 years ago and witnessed Mariwasa, led by American Cisco Oliver of the Alaska Milk commercial fame, drubbed Concepcion Carrier, 101-98.

Oliver topscored for 48 points, but also held the dubious record of committing the league's first ever violation when he was caught stepping on the line.

Behind the 23 points of Ompong Segura and 22 from Francis Arnaiz, Toyota edged out Universal Textile in the main game, 105-101. (Press Release)

Pba celebrates 35th anniversary

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