Everything You need to Know About PBA’s Governors Cup

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is one of Asia’s most prominent pro basketball leagues. Throughout the year, the league’s 12 teams compete in three conferences. The Governors Cup, commonly known as the third conference, is one of these conferences.

The Governors Cup is a tournament in which imports or international players are permitted to play for each team. This conference typically runs from August to December, with playoffs and finals selecting the champion.

This page will teach you all you need to know about the Governors Cup, including its history, format, rules, and prominent participants. This guide will help you comprehend everything about the PBA basketball tournament, whether you’re a die-hard fan or just getting started.

PBA Governor’s Cup Explained

Governors Cup

The Philippine Basketball Association holds a tournament called the PBA Governors’ Cup. The game is one of the two conferences that allows teams to hire a single foreign player, also known as the “import”. The competition was first held in 1993 and was the third conferences of the PBA season along with the PBA Philippines Cup  or known as All Filipino Cup and PBA Commissioner’s Cup

It stopped happening when the Reinforced Conference came back to life in 2003. From 2004 to 2010, the league only had two conferences per season. The Philippine Cup was an all-Filipino tournament, and the Fiesta Conference was a tournament with foreign players. The game was brought back in 2011 as the third conference of the PBA season. It did this because the league went back to having three meetings.

When Did PBA Governor’s Cup Start?

During the 1993 PBA season, the Third Conference was renamed the Governors’ Cup, a reference to the PBA Board of Governors. The board member for each team is called “Governor,” which is a singular word. Most of the time, the conference was the last tournament of the PBA season.

San Miguel won the first Governors Cup in 1993. From 1994 to 1997, Alaska was the best team in the tournament. In 1998, the league agreed with the Philippine Centennial Team that let each team bring in two foreign players who were 12 feet tall. Shell beat Mobiline and won the tournament. 

From 1999 to 2000, San Miguel Beer won the tournament. Then, in 2001, Sta. Lucia beat the Beermen and gave the Realtors their first PBA title. Due to the league’s commitment to the national team, the Governor’s Cup became the first conference in 2002, and the All-Filipino Conference became the third and final competition. Yet again, since a large portion of the groups’ headliners were with the public crew, the PBA permitted groups to take two imports with a 12-foot most excellent complete level breaking point. In seven games, Purefoods beat Alaska to win the championship.

The tournament was held in 2003 when it brought the Reinforced Conference back as the third conference of the season. It was brought back in 2011 when the league returned to having a three-conference season.

PBA Governor’s Cup Tournament Format

From 1993 to 1995, the teams in the group stage were split into two groups. Teams in the same group will play each other once, and teams in the other group will play each other twice. The best five groups will continue to the semifinals, a double round-robin. If they don’t get one of the top two spots in the finals, a team that wins five of their eight semifinal games will get a playoff bonus. In a best-of-seven championship series, the top two teams (the No. 1 team and the winner of the playoff between the No. 2 team and the team with at least five semifinal wins) will play each other.

In 1996, the league switched to a playoff system with quarterfinals and semifinals. The top two seeds go straight to the semifinals, and the following four teams play each other in the quarterfinals.

In 1998, the tournament was different because it used the elimination standings from the Centennial Cup before it. The teams played each other again in a single round-robin elimination, and the top four teams moved on to the semifinals. The last four teams will play against each other in a single round-robin semifinal. The top two teams will move on to the finals.

The addition of the Tanduay Rhum Masters in 1999 put a new quarterfinal and semifinal playoff format in place. After a round-robin elimination style, the top eight teams will move on to the quarterfinals. The top two seeds will have an advantage over the bottom two bases because they will have to beat them twice. Other seeded teams will play in playoffs that are best-of-three. 

After bringing the tournament back in 2011, the3 league used a format similar to the one used in 1995. The game starts with a single round-robin round of eliminations. It is called the “classic PBA format.” In a single round-robin semifinal, the top six teams will move on. If they don’t get one of the top two spots in the finals, a group that wins four of their five semifinal games will get a bonus. In a best-of-seven championship series, the top two teams (the No. 1 team and the winner of the playoff between the No. 2 team and the team with at least five semifinal wins) will play each other.

Since 2013, the tournament has been run like a playoff with the quarterfinals and semifinals. After a single round-robin group stage, the top eight teams will move to the quarterfinals. 

During this round, the top four teams will have to beat their opponents twice to win. The winners will move on to a best-of-five semifinal round. And the winners of that round will meet in a best-of-seven championship series.

Understanding the Governors Cup: Teams, Format, and Schedule

The Governors Cup is an annual basketball tournament in the Philippines that features professional teams from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). Here is a breakdown of the teams, format, and schedule for the Governors Cup:


There are currently 12 teams in the PBA, all of which participate in the Governors Cup.

The teams are:

  • Converge FiberXers
  • Barangay Ginebra San Miguel
  • Blackwater Bossing
  • Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots
  • Meralco Bolts
  • NLEX Road Warriors
  • NorthPort Batang Pier
  • Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters
  • Rain or Shine Elasto Painters
  • San Miguel Beermen
  • TerraFirma Dyip
  • TNT Tropang Giga.


  • The Governors Cup follows a single-round-robin format in the elimination round, meaning each team faces all the other teams once.
  • The top eight teams advance to the quarterfinals, which are played in a best-of-three series.
  • The four winners of the quarterfinals advance to the semifinals, which are played in a best-of-five series.
  • The winners of the semifinals then advance to the finals, which are played in a best-of-seven series.


  • The Governors Cup typically runs from August to December.
  • The elimination round usually lasts for about 10 weeks, with each team playing around 11 games.
  • The playoffs typically begin in late November or early December and last for several weeks.
  • The finals are usually held in December, with the championship series stretching for up to two weeks.

How to Bet on PBA Governors Cup?

Betting on the PBA Governors Cup has become increasingly popular among sports fans in the Philippines. With so many talented players and competitive teams, there are plenty of opportunities to place bets on various outcomes, such as which team will win a particular game or who will be named MVP of the tournament.

There are several ways to bet on PBA games, including online sportsbooks, local bookies, and even through mobile apps. Bettors can choose from a variety of betting options, including point spreads, moneylines, over/unders, and prop bets.

While betting on sports can be fun and exciting, it’s important to remember that it also involves risk. It is essential to understand how does pba governors cup betting work before placing any bets and only wager what you can afford to lose. With proper knowledge and responsible gambling practices in place, betting on the PBA Governors Cup can add an extra level of excitement to watching your favorite teams compete.

Governor’s Cup Update 2024

The 2022 PBA Governor’s Cup will be played after the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup, but on a different schedule. It is because the PBA is slowly returning to its regular pre-COVID schedule. Since the 2021 Governor’s Cup went into 2022 and pushed back the 2022 PBA season, the tournament will likely start in late 2022 or early 2023 instead of when it usually does.


The Philippine Basketball Association hosts the PBA Governors’ Cup, a professional basketball event (PBA). It is one of the PBA season’s three conferences.

The PBA Governors’ Cup schedule varies from year to year. It often begins in August or September and finishes in December.

The number of teams competing in the PBA Governors’ Cup varies from year to year as well. Nonetheless, it usually involves all 12 PBA teams.

The PBA Governors’ Cup format consists of a single round-robin elimination phase in which each team plays all other teams once. The top eight teams will proceed to the quarterfinals and battle in a best-of-three series. Both the semifinals and the finals are best-of-seven series.

The reigning winners of the PBA Governors’ Cup, as of my knowledge cutoff of September 2021, are the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, who won the title in the 2019 season. The Governors’ Cup event was canceled for the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following season is set to begin in April 2022.

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