PBA Commissioner’s Cup Betting Guide

Trphy for Commissioner's Cup winnerIn the Philippine Basketball Association, or PBA, there are three conferences throughout the season. This is different than the NBA format many audiences are used to (one regular season finished with Playoffs and Finals) and allows for up to three separate champions.

The Philippine Cup is the first leg of the PBA season, and the Commissioner’s Cup is the second conference of the campaign. The Commissioner's Cup is the most popular of the three and draws a large number of bets from local bettors. The Governor's Cup is the third leg, but it seems to be the least popular part of the PBA season for gambling action.

Filipinos can bet on the Commissioner’s Cup through licensed offshore sportsbooks. These brands support betting lines on games throughout the season, including props. This page is all about betting on basketball and the Commissioner’s Cup, and it includes information on the season layout, the teams involved, and more.

2020 Commissioner's Cup Update: Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus, there will be no PBA Commissioner's Cup 2020 campaign. The 2020 PBA Governors' Cup has also been canceled. Instead, the PBA will be focused on completing the 2020 Philippine Cup, which is slated to restart on October 11 using the single-site "bubble format" adopted by the NBA. 

Can I Legally Bet On The PBA Commissioner’s Cup In The Philippines?

Philippines residents are legally allowed to bet on the Commissioner’s Cup through licensed offshore sportsbooks, as domestic online operators (aka POGOs) cannot accept Filipinos. This leaves licensed offshore sites as the premier basketball betting options. Philippine gambling laws permit the use of offshore sites as long as they are licensed and regulated in their own countries, as all our recommended books are.

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How To Bet On The Commissioner's Cup

You can easily wager on the Commissioner's Cup at any top offshore sports betting site. Any of the books listed here fit the bill, and each of them offers comprehensive odds on the popular PBA conference. All you need to do to sign up is have a modern computer or mobile device, an Internet connection, and a few spare pesos (though we recommend Bitcoin), and you can be betting in no time.

Once you've chosen one or more sportsbooks and have gone through the five-minute signup process, you'll have access to all the typical basketball bet types you expect. These include:

  • Spread Bets
  • Straight Bets (aka Moneyline Bets)
  • Totals Bets (aka Over/Under Bets)
  • Player Prop Bets
  • Team Prop Bets
  • Futures Bets

The best online Philippine sportsbooks support single-game wagering, multi-game parlays, cross-sport parlays, and more. Unfortunately, the top bookmakers don't currently offer deposit bonuses to Filipino bettors due to national restrictions, but you'll still find the best odds, the most valuable lines, and by far the most betting options on Commissioner's Cup action when you use these overseas sports betting services.

History Of The PBA Commissioner’s Cup

The Commissioner’s Cup was first introduced to the Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) back during the 1993 season. The first-ever winner of the Commissioner’s Cup was the Swift/Sunkist franchise. Some of the other early winners include Purefoods (1994), Alaska Aces (1996), Gordon’s Gin Boars (1997), San Miguel Beermen (1999-2000), and Red Bull Thunder (2001-2002).

In 2003, the Invitational Championship was reinstated as the PBA’s second conference, leading to the Commissioner’s Cup's obsolescence. However, it was brought back in 2011 when the PBA decided to return to a three-conference season.

In 2020, due to massive delays to the sporting industry in the Philippines as a result of the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, the PBA season was almost completely derailed. As a result, the 2020 Commissioner's Cup has been canceled.

The Format of The PBA Commissioner’s Cup

The conference has undergone several changes regarding format, but the current one follows the model installed in 1998 with one exception. Originally, there was a quarterfinal-semifinal playoff where the top two seeded teams would advance to the semis automatically. The following four teams would battle it out in the quarterfinals. The winning two teams would then face the top two seeds in a best-of-5 series. The semifinal winners played a best-of-7 series in the Finals.

In 2011, this format was adopted again after a brief hiatus. However, the tournament Playoff format was changed again in 2013. Instead of the top two seeds automatically advancing to the semifinals, they gain a twice-to-beat advantage against the lowest two seeded teams. All other Playoff competitors play a best-of-3 series.

Commissioner's Cup 2021 Betting Odds

  • The 2020 Commissioner's Cup has been canceled due to COVID-19.

2020 Commissioner's Cup Teams

The current Commissioner's Cup teams for the 2020 PBA season were not announced before the conference events were canceled for the 2020 season. Please check back soon for updated roster information about the 2021 Commissioner's Cup.

Recap: 2019 Commissioner’s Cup

There were 12 teams that competed for the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup. These were:

  1. TNT KaTropa
  2. NorthPort Batang Pier
  3. Blackwater Elite
  4. Barangay Ginebra San Miguel
  5. Magnolia Hotshots
  6. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters
  7. San Miguel Beermen
  8. Alaska Aces
  9. Meralco Bolts*
  10. Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters*
  11. Columbian Dyip*
  12. NLEX Road Warriors*

The final four teams above did not make the playoff tournament. The 2019 Commissioner's Cup tournament, featuring the eight best teams in the league, was structured as follows:

  • Quarterfinals
    • TNT (1) def. Alaska (8) 1-1
    • Barangay Ginebra (4) def. Magnolia (5) 2-0
    • San Miguel (7) def. NorthPort (2) 2-0
    • Rain or Shine (6) def. Blackwater (3) 2-1
  • Semifinals
    • TNT def. Barangay Ginebra 3-1
    • San Miguel def. Rain or Shine 3-1
  • Finals
    • San Miguel def. TNT 4-2

Commissioner’s Cup Betting FAQs

When is the 2020 PBA Commissioner's Cup?

Unfortunately, the 2020 Commissioner's Cup has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The PBA has opted to contest only one conference this year – the 2020 Philippine Cup. If you're an avid PH sports bettor and were looking forward to betting on the Commissioner's Cup, you will have to settle for Philippine Cup betting lines instead. But, of course, you were already going to wager on that, anyway!

Which Teams Have Won The Most Recently?

The San Miguel Beermen won it all in 2019, while Barangay Ginebra San Migeul won in 2017-2018). The Beermen were champions in 2016-2017, and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters took home the title in 2015-2016. Overall, there is good parity in the Commissioner's Cup, preventing any team from reigning for more than a couple seasons in a row.

Are Teams Allowed To Import Players?

Yes. PBA teams can import players from around the world as long as they are within the 6’10” height limit imposed by the league. This is the same rule used in the Governors' Cup, but it differs from the Philippine Cup, which does not allow players to be imported from other countries.

Which Teams Are Favored To Win This Year?

The San Miguel Beermen are projected to repeat as champions. However, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters have emerged as underdog favorites to win it all, and given the competitive equality in the league, it is difficult to pick a winner with too much confidence. Right now, our advice is to simply bet on your favorite PBA team.

Which Teams Have Won The Most Championships In The Commissioner’s Cup?

The San Miguel Beermen have the most Commissioner's Cup titles with four, and they are the most recent champions (2019). The Alaska Aces and Purefoods/B-Meg/San Miguel Coffee franchises have three titles each, while several teams (Swift/Sunkist, Red Bull, Talk 'N Text, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel) have two apiece.

Resources For PBA Fans