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What we know about the 2019 PBA season so far

January 09, 2019 - Wednesday 2:01 PM by Daniel Joaquin

The 2019 PBA season is just around the corner and is expected to bring a few changes along with the arrival of some big names from college basketball. Here are a few things we know about the coming season.

The Zero-step

The PBA is set to adopt FIBA's rule on travelling calls in the coming season, starting on January 13 with the Philippine Cup.

This, along with a few other changes, was announced at the PBA press conference for the coming season at Conrad Manila on Tuesday, January 8.

FIBA's zero-step allows players to take an extra 'half step' to control the ball before the referee starts counting steps prior to a travelling violation call.

All-Star Week

Another key announcement was the naming of Calasiao, Pangasinan as the venue for the 2019 All-Star Week, which will be held at a later date this year due to a number of important international basketball events: the sixth FIBA Asia Qualifiers window in February, the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China (if Gilas qualifies) in August, and the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in November.

PBA Abroad

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial also told the media that the league plans to hold up to two games overseas to showcase its players to Filipino fans abroad.

Marcial was quoted by SPIN PH as saying "We're still in the process of finalizing contracts but there might be one or two international games this season."

Notable Rookie Debuts

In addition, fans are excited to see rookie sensations such as Ray Parks Jr., CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Paul Desiderio play for the first time for their respective PBA teams.

Parks has yet to sign a contract with Blackwater despite being offered a three-year max contract by management due to his prior commitment with Alab Pilipinas, which is in the middle of its campaign to defend the championship. 

Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter, who were part of a controversial three-way trade that broke out on draft night, will be suiting up for Blackwater in their debut game for the club against NorthPort, which showcases former King Lion Robert Bolick on January 16, Wednesday, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Finally, number 1 draft pick CJ Perez, who is expected to carry cellar-dwelling Columbian Dyip, will be debuting for his team against powerhouse San Miguel on January 18, Friday, at the Cuneta Astrodome.