PBA Commissioner's Cup

The PBA Commissioner's Cup is a tournament of the Philippine Basketball Association. Along with the PBA Governors' Cup, the tournament (also named as "conference") is one of the two competitions in a PBA season that allows teams to hire a single foreign player, also known as an "import". The tournament was first held in 1993 as the PBA season's second competition.

PBA Commissioner's Cup
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2022–23 PBA Commissioner's Cup
PBA Commissioner's Cup Trophy - 2013.png
The PBA Commissioner's Cup trophy won by the Alaska Aces in 2013.
Founded1993; 30 years ago (1993)
Inaugural season1993
Most recent
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (3rd title)

The tournament was discontinued when the Invitational Championship was reintroduced in 2003. From 2004 to 2010, the league decreased their tournaments per season from three to two competitions; one All-Filipino tournament, named as the Philippine Cup and one with imports, named as the Fiesta Conference The tournament was re-instated in 2011 as the second competition of the PBA season after the league re-adopted the three conference format.

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


During the 1993 PBA season, the league moved the All-Filipino Conference as the first tournament of the season and made the Second Conference as the Commissioner's Cup, a reference to the PBA Commissioner. The conference was the second tournament held in a PBA season.

The Swift/Sunkist franchise won the tournament in 1993 and 1995. Purefoods, with Kenny Redfield as import and Chot Reyes as head coach, defeated Alaska in 1994.

During Alaska's grandslam season of 1996, they won the Commissioners Cup title over Shell in a grueling seven-game series. The Gordon's Gin Boars ended their six-year drought, winning over the Milkmen in 1997, giving playing coach Robert Jaworski his last PBA title on both capacities. A year later, Alaska had Devin Davis as import to win the title over San Miguel.

From 1999 to 2000, San Miguel won the Commissioners Cup with Terquin Mott and Stephen Howard as imports. But in 2001, the Beermen was upset by the Red Bull Thunder, with Best Import Antonio Lang in six games.

In 2002, with 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. Red Bull won the series over Talk 'N Text in seven games.

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

Tournament formatEdit

From 1993 to 1997, the teams were divided into two groups in the group stage. 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 No. 1 team and the winner of the playoff between team with at least 5 semifinal wins and the No. 2 team) will face each other in a best-of-seven championship series. In 1995, a slightly modified post eliminations format was adopted. Instead, the top six teams will advance to the quarterfinal round for another single round robin. The top four team will then be seeded in a best-of-five series with the winners advancing to the finals.

In 1998, 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. The winners will advance to the semifinal round and to compete against the two top seeded teams in a best-of-five series. The winners of the semifinal round will then advance to the best-of-seven championship series. This format was slightly modified due to the entry of the Tanduay Rhum Masters in 1999. The top eight teams after a round-robin regular round 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. The winners will compete in a best-of-five semifinals series. Then the winners of the semifinals will advance to a best-of-seven finals series.

After the reintroduction of the tournament in 2011, the league adopted a tournament format similar on what was used in 1998. The top two teams will gain automatic semifinals seed while the next four teams will compete in a best-of-three quarterfinals.

From the 2013 edition of the tournament, the playoff format was revised and adopted the similar playoff format used for the Philippine Cup, in which the first two teams will gain a twice to beat advantage against the last two seeded teams and the other teams will compete for a best of three playoffs.

The height limit for import players varies from every year. In the tournament's reintroduction in 2011, the height limit was 6'4" (1.93 m). In 2012, the league removed the height restrictions. The handicapping system was reinstated in 2014, where the height limit of 6'9" (2.06 m) was imposed for the playoff teams of the previous Philippine Cup. In 2017, the limit is 6'10" (2.08 m) for all teams.

Trophy designEdit

The PBA Commissioner's Cup trophy won by the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters in 2011. This design was used from 1994 to 2002 and on 2011.

The trophy design used since the 1994 season features the Commissioner's Cup with the league logo at the front. The cup is placed in a base where the name of and the year of the tournament is engraved. 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 championsEdit

Per seasonEdit

Season Champion Runner-up Winning coach Series Details
1993 Swift Mighty Meaties Purefoods Oodles Yeng Guiao 4–2 tournament details
1994 Purefoods TJ Hotdogs Alaska Milkmen Chot Reyes 4–1 tournament details
1995 Sunkist Orange Juicers Alaska Milkmen Derrick Pumaren 4–2 tournament details
1996 Alaska Milkmen Formula Shell Zoom Masters Tim Cone 4–3 tournament details
1997 Gordon's Gin Boars Alaska Milkmen Robert Jaworski 4–2 tournament details
1998 Alaska Milkmen San Miguel Beermen Tim Cone 4–2 tournament details
1999 San Miguel Beermen Formula Shell Zoom Masters Jong Uichico 4–2 tournament details
2000 San Miguel Beermen Sta. Lucia Realtors Jong Uichico 4–1 tournament details
2001 Red Bull Thunder San Miguel Beermen Yeng Guiao 4–2 tournament details
2002 Red Bull Thunder Talk N' Text Phone Pals Yeng Guiao 4–3 tournament details
2003–2010: no tournament held
2010–11 Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters Barangay Ginebra Kings Chot Reyes 4–2 tournament details
2011–12 B-Meg Llamados Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters Tim Cone 4–3 tournament details
2012–13 Alaska Aces Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Luigi Trillo 3–0 tournament details
2013–14 San Mig Super Coffee Mixers Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters Tim Cone 3–1 tournament details
2014–15 Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Jong Uichico 4–3 tournament details
2015–16 Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Alaska Aces Yeng Guiao 4–2 tournament details
2016–17 San Miguel Beermen TNT KaTropa Leo Austria 4–2 tournament details
2017–18 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel San Miguel Beermen Tim Cone 4–2 tournament details
2019 San Miguel Beermen TNT KaTropa Leo Austria 4–2 tournament details
2020–2021: Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2022–23 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Bay Area Dragons Tim Cone 4–3 tournament details

Per franchiseEdit

Team Total Last championship
4 San Miguel 2019
3 Alaska* 2013
Gordon's Gin/Barangay Ginebra 2022–23
Purefoods/B-Meg/San Mig Coffee 2014
2 Swift/Sunkist* 1995
Red Bull* 2002
Talk 'N Text 2015
1 Rain or Shine 2016
* Defunct franchise

Individual awardsEdit

Best Player of the ConferenceEdit

^ Denotes player who is still active in the PBA
* Inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been named BPC
Season Best Player Team
1994 Alvin Patrimonio* Purefoods
1995 Vergel Meneses Sunkist
1996 Bong Hawkins Alaska
1997 Johnny Abarrientos Alaska
1998 Kenneth Duremdes Alaska
1999 Benjie Paras* Shell
2000 Danny Ildefonso San Miguel
2001 Danny Ildefonso (2) San Miguel
2002 Davonn Harp Red Bull
2011 Jimmy Alapag Talk 'N Text
2012 Mark Caguioa Barangay Ginebra
2013 LA Tenorio^ Barangay Ginebra
2014 Jayson Castro^ Talk 'N Text
2015 Jayson Castro^ (2) Talk 'N Text
2016 Calvin Abueva^ Alaska
2017 Chris Ross^ San Miguel
2018 June Mar Fajardo^ San Miguel
2019 Jayson Castro^ (3) TNT
2022–23 Scottie Thompson^ Barangay Ginebra

Bobby Parks Best Import awardEdit

Year Best Import Team
1993   Ronnie Thompkins Swift
1994   Ken Redfield Purefoods
1995   Ronnie Grandison Sunkist
1996   Ken Redfield (2) Shell
1997   Jeff Ward San Miguel
1998   Devin Davis Alaska
1999   Terquin Mott San Miguel
2000   Ansu Sesay Sta. Lucia
2001   Antonio Lang Red Bull
2002   Jerald Honeycutt Talk 'N Text
2011   Nate Brumfield Barangay Ginebra
2012   Denzel Bowles B-Meg
2013   Robert Dozier Alaska
2014   Richard Howell Talk 'N Text
2015   Wayne Chism Rain or Shine
2016   Arinze Onuaku Meralco
2017   Charles Rhodes San Miguel
2018   Justin Brownlee Barangay Ginebra
2019   Terrence Jones TNT
2022–23   Justin Brownlee (2) Barangay Ginebra

External linksEdit