18 teams from commercial and collegiate ranks participated in the first conference of the 1985 Philippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL) season.
Group A – ESQ Marketing, ERDC, FEU, NU, Adamson and San Beda.
Group B – Masagana 99, Rizal Athletic Club, San Sebastian, UP, UST and La Salle.
Group C – Lagerlite Beer, Mama’s Love, Army Jungle Fighters, Arellano University, Ateneo and UE.
The eight semifinalist after a round-robin from each group:
Group A – ESQ Marketing and ERDC, which both finish with 4 wins and 1 loss, and FEU (3-2). The Merchants defeated ERDC, 87-83, San Beda, 111-86, Adamson, 115-89, and NU, 153-86. Their only loss was to FEU, 82-84. The Research Specialists beat Adamson, 103-87, San Beda, 117-72, NU, 180-73 (a 107-point winning margin), and FEU, 103-89, in their final assignment. The Tamaraws of FEU beat San Beda, 98-59, and NU, 138-87, they lost to Adamson Falcons, 94-108.
Group B – Masagana 99 had a clean 5-0 slate, followed by San Sebastian College with 4-1. The Rice Growers defeated La Salle, 75-71, San Sebastian, 103-95, Rizal Athletic Club, 103-93, UST, 98-69, and UP, 99-56. The Stags won against UST, 81-78, La Salle, 84-78, RAC, 100-93, and UP, 72-66.
Group C – Lagerlite also finish with a sweep, winning all their five games, the Beermen beat Army, 76-72 on April 14, UE, 122-81 on April 19, Mama’s Love, 128-94 on April 24, Ateneo, 104-78, and Arellano, 117-75 on May 6. The other two teams in the group that made it to the semifinal round were Army (4-1) and Mama’s Love (3-2). The Cebu-based squad lost to the Jungle Fighters, 96-103, their three victories; UE, 101-85, Ateneo de Manila, 105-93, and Arellano U, 113-64. Army had beaten Ateneo, 110-97 on April 26, and scored victories as well over UE and Arellano.