EASL puts opener on hold

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
EASL puts opener on hold

New format eyed for inaugural season

MANILA, Philippines — The PBA’s foray in the East Asia Super League will have to wait after the EASL deferred its much awaited inaugural season kickoff to update its competition format.

The continental league was originally set to open Oct. 12 in South Korea and Manila with Philippine Cup titlist San Miguel Beer and runner up TNT playing home-and-away. But “taking into account the ongoing COVID-19 situation throughout the region,” the EASL said it is looking at holding instead a more condensed tournament format in the Philippines in early 2023 for its first salvo.

“Discussions regarding a ‘Champions Week’ in Manila are currently ongoing,” the EASL said in a statement yesterday. “Details of the tournament format will soon be announced and shared with EASL fans.”

Aside from the Beermen and the Tropang Giga, the EASL also features Anyang KGC and Seoul SK Knights from Korea, Ryukyu Golden Kings and Utsunomiya Brex of Japan, Taipei Fubon Braves of Chinese Taipei and Bay Area Dragons of Hong Kong.

The EASL said its focus is on “operating Season 1 of game play in a responsible manner that allows for partner leagues to carry on with their domestic leagues uninterrupted by precarious travel situations.”

“Our mission remains to create the premier basketball league and entertainment experience in Asia, elevating the sport in the region. Controlling variables and operating our season in the most responsible manner reduces uncertainty for all our stakeholders as international travel throughout the region rebounds incrementally,” said EASL CEO Matt Beyer.

The league intends to shift to its original home-and-away format late next year.

Meanwhile, the PBA 3x3 has rescheduled its postponed Season 2 First Conference Leg 3 competition to Oct. 1 to 2 at the Robinsons Place Las Piñas. The two-day leg was initially booked for Sept. 26 to 27 at Robinsons Antipolo but the league decided to postpone it amid threat from Super Typhoon Karding.


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