PBA Commissioner’s Cup Format, Rankings & Previous Champions


The PBA Commissioner’s Cup is a tournament of the Philippine Basketball Association also known as the Conference just like the PBA Governor’s Cup. In this conference teams participate along with the foreign players hired in their squad commonly known as “imports”. This league holds great significance within the PBA and Philippine basketball landscape.

PBA Commissioner’s Cup Format, Rankings & Previous Champions

Overall Structure of the Commissioner’s Cup

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup provides a great opportunity for international fans of  Basketball to witness high-level competitions through international talent. Go through the following paragraph to learn about the nature of this competition and the overall tournament structure.

  1. Format:
    The cup follows a round-robin elimination format in which all the contestant teams play a match against each other. In the elimination round, the teams accumulate wins against each other to secure a spot in the playoff round.
  2. Import Limit:
    Each team hires an import in its squad meeting specific requirements such as height and playing experience. The height limit of the import must be 6 feet 10 inches (208cm) which varies in every season. This encourages fair competition and a level playing field among the teams in the conference.
  3. Showcasing of international talent:
    The imports in the different teams bring different talents, skill levels, and playing styles, increasing the league's competitive nature. So their active participation and showcasing of skills have a positive impact on the games.
  4. Playoff Structure:
    The top eight teams advance to the playoffs after the elimination round. The playoff format usually involves best-of-three, best-of-five series in the quarterfinal, semifinals, and finals. Two teams that remain victorious from the playoff round determine the champion of the Commissioner’s Cup.
  5. Prestigious Trophy:
    The champion team from the tournament got a trophy and won the title of the conference. Which is considered a prestigious trophy among both teams and players and holds great significance in the professional careers of the individual players.

Rankings of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup 

In the Commissioner’s Cup, the teams are ranked based on their performance in the elimination round which determines their overall standing in the points table. This finalizes the teams selected for the playoff round. Now learn how the ranking systems operate in the league.

  1. Win-loss Record
    The team earns 2 points for winning and zero for losing the match. The number of winning games generates points that determine the overall ranking or position of the team in the points table.
  2. Winning Percentage
    Winning percentage is necessary, especially for the teams that don't play matches due to unforeseen circumstances. It is calculated by dividing the number of wins by total games played by a team
  3. Head-to-head results
    In case of a tie among the two or more teams standing in the same position in the points table with the same win-loss and winning percentage. Head-to-head results decide the rankings, in this case, best best-performing team gets the ranks.
  4. Point Differential
    The team got the ranking points through the point differential system in a case of tie among the teams. This is calculated by dividing the total points scored and the total points allowed by a team during the elimination round.
  5. Coin Toss or Draw Lots
    In case, all the tiebreaker fails to decide the ranking of the teams the Coin Toss or Draw Lots will be used to determine the position of the team.

List of Previous Champions of the Commissioner’s Cup

Seasons Wise

Champion Winning coach Runner-up Season Series
Swift Mighty Meaties Yeng Guiao Purefoods Oodles 1993 4–2
Purefoods TJ Hotdogs Chot Reyes Alaska Milkmen 1994 4–1
Sunkist Orange Juicers Derrick Pumaren Alaska Milkmen 1995 4–2
Alaska Milkmen Tim Cone Formula Shell Zoom Masters 1996 4–3
Gordon's Gin Boars Robert Jaworski Alaska Milkmen 1997 4–2
Alaska Milkmen Tim Cone San Miguel Beermen 1998 4–2
San Miguel Beermen Jong Uichico Formula Shell Zoom Masters 1999 4–2
San Miguel Beermen Jong Uichico Sta. Lucia Realtors 2000 4–1
Red Bull Thunder Yeng Guiao San Miguel Beermen 2001 4–2
Red Bull Thunder Yeng Guiao Talk N' Text Phone Pals 2002 4–3
Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters Chot Reyes Barangay Ginebra Kings 2010–11 4–2
B-Meg Llamados Tim Cone Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters 2011–12 4–3
Alaska Aces Luigi Trillo Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 2012–13 3–0
San Mig Super Coffee Mixers Tim Cone Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters 2013–14 3–1
Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters Jong Uichico Rain or Shine Elasto Painters 2014–15 4–3
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Yeng Guiao Alaska Aces 2015–16 4–2
San Miguel Beermen Leo Austria TNT KaTropa 2016–17 4–2
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Tim Cone San Miguel Beermen 2017–18 4–2
San Miguel Beermen Leo Austria TNT KaTropa 2019 4–2
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Tim Cone Bay Area Dragons 2022–23 4–3

Franchises with most Commissioner Cup Championships

Winning Teams Total No. of Championships Last championship
San Miguel 4 2019
Alaska 3 2013
Gordon's Gin/Barangay Ginebra 3 2022–23
Purefoods/B-Meg/San Mig Coffee 3 2014
Swift/Sunkist 2 1995
Red Bull 2 2002
Talk 'N Text 2 2015
Rain or Shine 1 2016

Significance of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup:

Commissioners Cup is one of the three conferences along with the Governor’s Cup and Philippine Cup in a PBA. it holds great significance among international players, teams, and individual talent in their overall professional Career. Here is the significance of this tournament among the players and international audience.

  • The involvement of the imports in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup makes it distinguishable from other conferences. In this tournament, international fans get the opportunity to witness the diversity, playing styles, and international talent on the same platform.
  • This cup engages the international audience due to the unique nature of the tournament. When the international player participates in the tournament and shows their skills, talent, and diversity.  It brings charm and interesting moments in the game along with the television viewership and fan excitement. 
  • This event creates an opportunity for the local players to gain valuable experience and improve their skills by learning from the “Imports”.
  • The interest and involvement of the border audience increase ticket sales and television viewership. which attracts corporate sponsorships and advertisements resulting in the generation of overall revenue for players and the tournament management as well.