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PBA Governors' Cup


PBA Governors' Cup

PBA Governors' Cup
The PBA Governors' Cup trophy won by the Purefoods TJ Hotdogs in 2002.
Tournament information
Location varies per season
Month played May to August (since the 2010-11 season)
Established 1993
Format See tournament format
Current champion
San Miguel Beermen (5th title)

The PBA Governors' Cup is a tournament of a Philippine Basketball Association season. The tournament require teams to hire a single import. The event was usually held as league's third conference from 1993 to 2001. In 2003, the tournament was scrapped and was replaced by a Reinforced Conference, an import-laced conference. The tournament was revived in 2011 after the league re-adopted the three conference format.

The Governors' Cup also refers to the trophy awarded to the champion team.


  • History 1
  • Tournament format 2
  • Import rules 3
  • Trophy design 4
  • List of champions 5
    • Per season 5.1
    • Per franchise 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7


During the 1993 PBA season, the league renamed the Third Conference as the Governors' Cup, a reference the members of the PBA Board of Governors. The singular name "Governor" refers to the board representative of each team. The conference usually was the last tournament held in a PBA season.

After San Miguel won the first Governors Cup in 1993, Alaska dominated the tournament from 1994-1997. In 1998, due to the league's commitment with the Philippine Centennial Team, they allowed each team to take two imports with a combined height of 12 feet. Shell, with no players taken for the national team, won the tournament over Mobiline.

San Miguel Beer won the tournament from 1999-2000 before Sta. Lucia upset the Beermen a year later, giving the Realtors its first PBA title. In 2002, due to the league's commitment to the national team, the Governors Cup became the first conference, while moving the All-Filipino Conference as its third and last tournament. Since most of the team's star players are with the national squad, the PBA once again allowed team's to take two imports with a 12-feet maximum height limit. Purefoods beat Alaska in seven games to win the title.

The tournament was retired in 2003 after the re-introduction of the Reinforced Conference as the third conference of the season but was eventually reactivated in 2011 after the league restored the three-conference season format.

Tournament format

From 1993 to 1995, the teams were divided to two groups in the elimination round. The teams in the same group will play against each other once and against teams in the other group twice. After the eliminations, the top five teams will advance to a double-round robin semifinals. A playoff incentive will be given to a team that will win five of their eight semifinal games should they fail to get the top two finals berths. The top two teams (or the #1 team and the winner of the playoff between team with at least 5 semifinal wins and the #2 team) will face each other in a best-of-seven championship series.

In 1996, the league adopted a quarterfinal-semifinal playoff format with the top two seeds advancing automatically to the semifinals and the next four teams will be matched up in the quarterfinals after the eliminations.

A different tournament format was used in 1998 when it carried over the elimination standings of the preceding Centennial Cup. The teams were pitted again in a single round robin eliminations with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals. The remaining teams will compete in a single round robin semifinals, with the top two teams advancing in the finals.

In 1999, a new quarterfinal-semifinal playoff format was introduced due to the entry of the Tanduay Rhum Masters. The top eight teams after a round-robin eliminations will advance to the quarterfinals. The top two seeds will have a twice-to-beat advantage against the last two seeded teams. Other seeded teams will compete in a best-of-three playoffs.

After the reintroduction of the tournament in 2011, the league adopted a tournament format similar on what was used in 1995. Dubbed as the "classic PBA format",[1] the tournament begins in a single round robin eliminations. The top six teams will advance in a single round robin semifinals. A playoff incentive will be given to a team that will win four of their five semifinal games should they fail to get the top two finals berths. The top two teams (or the #1 team and the winner of the playoff between team with at least 5 semifinal wins and the #2 team) will face each other in a best-of-seven championship series.

The tournament format since the 2013 edition was changed to a quarterfinal-semifinal playoff format. The top eight teams after a single round-robin elimination round will advance to the quarterfinals. The top four teams will have a twice-to-beat incentive against their opponents during this round. The winners will advance to a best of five semifinal round and the winners of this round will meet in a best-of-seven championship series.

Import rules

The height limit for import players varies from every year. In 2011, the height adopted a handicapping system in which the top two teams of the combined results of the Philippine and Commissioner's Cups are allowed to have an import with a 6'2" height limit. The next four teams will be allowed with a 6'4" import and the last two teams will be allowed with a 6'6" import. In 2012, the handicapping was scrapped and the league set the height limit of imports to 6'5".

While the tournament is underway, a team can play with an All-Filipino lineup only once. Imports can be replaced in the whole duration of the tournament (including finals).

Trophy design

The trophy design used since the 1994 season features the Governors' Cup with the league logo at the front. The cup is placed in a base where all of the logos of the participating teams of the tournament are engraved. A unique feature of this trophy is that the champion team's logo is placed at the front middle of the trophy with the runner-up at its left and the third place at the right. The rest of the team logos are arranged according to their rankings at the conclusion of the tournament. Red, blue and yellow ribbons were placed in the handles of the trophy, mirroring the colors in the PBA logo. The winner keeps permanent possession of the trophy and a new one is created every year. In 2012, the trophy's cup handles were modified and the league logo was replaced with the tournament's season logo.

List of champions

Per season

Season Winning Team Losing Team Series Details
1993 San Miguel Beermen Swift Mighty Meaties 4-1 tournament details
1994 Alaska Milkmen Swift Mighty Meaties 4-2 tournament details
1995 Alaska Milkmen San Miguel Beermen 4-3 tournament details
1996 Alaska Milkmen Ginebra San Miguel 4-1 tournament details
1997 Alaska Milkmen Purefoods Corned Beef Cowboys 4-1 tournament details
1998 Formula Shell Super Unleaded Mobiline Phone Pals 4-3 tournament details
1999 San Miguel Beermen Alaska Milkmen 4-2 tournament details
2000 San Miguel Beermen Purefoods TJ Hotdogs 4-1 tournament details
2001 Sta. Lucia Realtors San Miguel Beermen 4-2 tournament details
2002 Purefoods TJ Hotdogs Alaska Aces 4-3 tournament details
2003-2010: no tournament held
2010–11 Petron Blaze Boosters Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters 4-3 tournament details
2011–12 Rain or Shine Elasto Painters B-Meg Llamados 4-3 tournament details
2012–13 San Mig Coffee Mixers Petron Blaze Boosters 4-3 tournament details
2013–14 San Mig Super Coffee Mixers Rain or Shine Elasto Painters 3-2 tournament details
2014–15 San Miguel Beermen Alaska Aces 4-0 tournament details
2015–16 tournament details

Per franchise

Total Team Last Championship
5 San Miguel/Petron Blaze 2015
4 Alaska 1997
3 Purefoods/San Mig Coffee 2014
1 Shell* 1998
Sta. Lucia* 2001
Rain or Shine 2012
* Defunct franchise


  1. ^ PBA reverts to old-school format for 2012 Governors’ Cup, InterAKTV, May 19, 2012

External links

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