PBA Turns 33

On: 08 April 2008

In celebration of its 33rd anniversary tomorrow, the Philippine Basketball Association is raffling off 33 special prizes during Wednesday’s scheduled doubleheader at the Araneta Coliseum.

The raffle promo is the league’s way of expressing its gratitude to its horde of fans which stood through hick and thin supporting the PBA from the time it first saw light on April 9, 1975.

”Without the fans’ support, the PBA would not be here celebrating its 33rd year. And for that, we decided to treat them with special prizes, while enjoying watching the games at the same time,” said Reynauld ‘Sonny’ Barrios of the league’s first anniversary celebration under his commissionership.

Before a crowd of 18,000 at the Big Dome 33 years ago, the PBA was born and played its first two games pitting Mariwasa-Noritake against Concepcion and Toyota Comets versus U-tex.

Leo Prieto, the league’s first ever commissioner, led the hour-long opening ceremonies, with the late Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Louie Tabuena and Miss PBA Mia Montemayor as special guests.

A traveling violation by Mariwasa import Israel ‘Cisco’ Oliver - best remembered for his famed Alaska commercial - on the game’s opening play got the league off on the wrong foot, before Concepcion guard Gregorio ‘Joy’ Dionisio scored on a layup in the next play for the historic first ever basket of Asia’s oldest and first ever play-for-pay league.

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