Asian basketball

Meralco makes EASL debut vs Carl Tamayo, Ryukyu; TNT, Fubon collide

Martin Mendoza

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Meralco makes EASL debut vs Carl Tamayo, Ryukyu; TNT, Fubon collide

STEPPING UP. Carl Tamayo of defending champion Ryukyu Golden Kings reacts after a three-point basket.

JAPAN B. LEAGUE

A tough challenge awaits Meralco in its East Asia Super League debut as it takes on Carl Tamayo, Allen Durham, and the rest of the Ryukyu Golden Kings without its import Suleiman Braimoh

MANILA, Philippines – After a fiery 2-0 start in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup, the Meralco Bolts will look to carry their winning ways into the East Asia Super League (EASL), debuting against Carl Tamayo and the defending Japan B. League champion Ryukyu Golden Kings on Wednesday, November 15.

The Bolts will be up for a tough challenge in this Group B matchup at the Okinawa Arena in Japan as they will play without their super import Suleiman Braimoh due to visa issues and injured locals Allein Maliksi and Chris Banchero.

Braimoh has been a beast for Meralco in the Commissioner’s Cup, averaging 37 points and 15 rebounds in his first two games in a Bolts uniform.

Former NorthPort Batang Pier reinforcement Prince Ibeh is expected to fill the void left by Braimoh as Meralco takes on a powerhouse Ryukyu side that features a very familiar face in three-time PBA Best Import Allen Durham, who led the Bolts to three finals appearances in the Governors’ Cup. 

Aside from Tamayo and Durham, the 1-1 Golden Kings have three more imports on their roster in Alex Kirk, Jack Cooley, and Vic Law.  

“We’ll try to do our best, we’re not going to raise the white flag,” said Meralco head coach Luigi Trillo.

“It’s a chance for us to show also what we can do. Overall, it’s exciting to be in the EASL,” he added. 

Like the Bolts, the TNT Tropang Giga will also be in action on Wednesday when they face off with the Taipei Fubon Braves at the Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium.

Coming off a 75-66 home loss to the Chiba Jets in their previous outing, TNT will receive a major boost in this Group A affair as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will be back in the frame after missing the previous match due to gastroenteritis. 

Expect Hollis-Jefferson and his fellow import Quincy Miller to put on a show for the Tropang Giga as they shoot for their first win in three matches of the tournament . 

On the other side, look for Mike Singletary and Filipino-American guard Sedrick Barefield to show the way for the Fubon Braves, who have an identical 0-2 record as the Tropang Giga. – Rappler.com

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