PBA vows tough stand in EASL

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
PBA vows tough stand in EASL
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, EASL ambassador Ron Artest, EASL CEO Matt Beyer, KBL chief Kim Hee Ok and Japan B.League chairman Shinji Shimada grace the official draw for the inaugural EASL tourney at the Shangri-La The Fort Manila yesterday.
Jun Mendoza

MANILA, Philippines — This early, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial has promised an all-out campaign by the two teams that will represent the Philippines in the East Asia Super League (EASL) which unveils its inaugural season in October.

The PBA will field the top two teams in the ongoing Philippine Cup in the EASL with the eventual champion landing in Group A and the runner-up in the powerhouse Group B.

They will be ranged against the top ball clubs across different leagues in Asia. Marcial said the PBA squads will have to hold their own – loud and proud – against the six foreign teams.

“The PBA is very excited to join the EASL. Mabigat ang laban natin sa EASL but we will give the teams a run for their own money,” said Marcial after the official drawing of lots attended by EASL officials and representatives of the different leagues at the Shangri-La The Fort Manila yesterday.

“Abangan nila ang Pilipinas,” he added, looking forward to testing the mettle of the teams from the Korean Basketball League (KBL), Japan B. League, Chinese Taipei’s P.League+ and Greater China.

Group A, after the draw of lots graced by EASL founder and CEO Matt Beyer, has the PBA champion, KBL runner-up Anyang KGC, B. League runner-up Ryukyu Golden Kings and P. League+ champion Taipei Fubon Braves.

The Philippine Cup runner-up fell in the loaded Group B composed of KBL champion Seoul SK Knights, B. League titlist Utsunomiya Brex and Bay Area Dragons from Hong Kong under the watch of legendary Australian mentor Brian Goorjian.

The Bay Area Dragons will have Manila as its temporary home for the EASL tourney aside from their participation in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup as guest team.

The eight EASL teams will slug it out in a home-and-away format starting on Oct. 12 until 2023 with the inaugural champion winning the $1 million grand prize.


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