THE PHILIPPINE Basketball Association’s (PBA) Season 48-ending Philippine Cup fires off on Wednesday with eliminations action spread over nine different venues, including three out-of-town sites.

The opener takes place at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City featuring Terrafirma against Converge at 4:30 p.m. and NorthPort versus NLEX at 7:30 p.m. After this, regular hubs Smart Araneta Coliseum and PhilSports Arena host 12 and seven playdates, respectively, while Ynares Antipolo gets one more after the curtain raiser.

In an effort to extend its reach to more fans, the pro league set five game days at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium (NAS). Located inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the refurbished NAS was used as practice venue in last year’s FIBA World Cup. Additionally, the PBA booked two play dates at Ynares Arena in Pasig City, which will host for the first time since the closed-circuit games of 2021, plus Saturday stops at the Caloocan Sports Complex, Candon, Ilocos Sur, Tiaong, Quezon and Cagayan de Oro. The eliminations will run until May 5 with a break from March 18 to 30 to give way to the All-Star festivities in Bacolod and the Holy Week. Marquee dates include the duel between Season 47 champion San Miguel Beer and runner-up TNT on March 17 at Ynares Antipolo, the Manila Clasico showdown between Ginebra and Magnolia on March 31 at the Big Dome. — Olmin Leyba