PBA Governors' Cup

PBA opens door to Bay Area Dragons as guest team

Delfin Dioquino
PBA opens door to Bay Area Dragons as guest team
The Bay Area Dragons are set to become the first foreign team to see action in the PBA in nearly two decades as they participate in the Governors' Cup

MANILA, Philippines – The PBA welcomed the Bay Area Dragons as guest team for the Governors’ Cup next season on Monday, March 21, as part of its partnership with the East Asia Super League (EASL).

Originally from Hong Kong, the Dragons will be based in Manila for the entirety of the Governors’ Cup and will play their home games in the inaugural season of the EASL, which kicks off in October, here.

Bay Area will be composed of the top free agents from Hong Kong, China, Macau, and Chinese Taipei as the EASL brands the squad as the “new face of Chinese basketball.”

It will then be beefed up by an Asian import and two other reinforcements, although EASL chief executive officer Matt Beyer acknowledged the Governors’ Cup rule that allows only one import per team.

“This is a great opportunity for the PBA, with the Dragons competing in the PBA. Not just in income, but also in awareness and additional fans,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial in a mix of Filipino and English.

“Maybe the Chinese community will watch the PBA.”

The Dragons are set to become the first foreign team to see action in the PBA in nearly two decades after the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and US Pro-Am Selection competed in the 2004 Fiesta Conference.

Marcial said Bay Area will be eligible to win the Governors’ Cup championship.

“They will learn from us and we will also learn from them,” Marcial said.

Originally named the Phoenixes, the squad changed its moniker to Dragons out of respect for the PBA club Phoenix Fuel Masters.

Beyer said the Dragons, who will also play games in the Korean Basketball League and the P. League+ and T1 League in Taiwan, will start training in Manila no later than August 1. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.