Samante: All hail the champs!

Game On

THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) 2019-2020 season has just been concluded with Barangay Ginebra's 105-93 conquest of the Meralco Bolts last Friday, January 17 to win the Governors Cup trophy. It has been a roller coaster year for the PBA, and almost everyone is eager to start the upcoming season altogether.

Here is a roster of champions for the 44th season:

Philippine Cup: San Miguel Beermen

Finals MVP: June Mar Fajardo

Commissioners' Cup: San Miguel Beermen

Finals MVP: Terence Romeo

Governors' Cup: Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings

Finals MVP: Japeth Aguilar

While most fans were anticipating a grand slam for the Beermen after winning the first two conferences, fate would not have it as they underwent a tumultuous Governors' Cup campaign. They traded away Christian Standhardinger to NorthPort in exchange for Mo Tautua. Then an unfortunate practice incident saw the suspension of three Beermen and their import leaving town.

The event dealt a big blow to their grand slam aspirations and left the field wide open for any takers which the Gin Kings eventually won.

With the 45th season of the PBA set to open on March 1, most PBA pundits expect a fierce competition with SMB tinkering with their lineup.

"Why fix it if it ain't broke?" It is a lingering question for everyone. Who got the better of the NorthPort deal? Early indications point to North Port with C-Stan winning the Governors Cup Best Player plum surprisingly.

Another thing to watch out for on March 1 is the annual Leo Awards. On this opening night, the PBA will also hand out the season awards for MVP, Rookie of the Year, Mythical Teams, Most Improved Player, and the Sportsmanship Award. Five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo looks locked in on his sixth straight MVP trophy unless otherwise with their early Governors Cup exit.

With the rookies of the 45th season joining the fray, hopefully, we are in for another exciting PBA season.

While we wait for the opening on March 1, let us set our sights on the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend 2020 come February 14-16.

Note from the sidelines:

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year to everyone! May the year of the metal rat bring about good fortune and happiness to everyone.


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