Philippine basketball

PBA PH Cup champs grouped with Fubon, Ryukyu, Anyang in EASL tournament

JR Isaga
PBA PH Cup champs grouped with Fubon, Ryukyu, Anyang in EASL tournament

REGIONAL SUPREMACY. The PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup champions and runners-up are set to compete with East Asia's best in the new EASL season in October 2022.

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Top PBA teams are set to compete for regional supremacy as the East Asia Super League holds a new season in October for a whopping $1-million prize

MANILA, Philippines – The future PBA Philippine Cup champions were grouped with fellow Asian powerhouses Ryukyu Golden Kings of the Japan B. League, PLeague champion Taipei Fubon Braves, and the Anyang KGC of the Korean Basketball League (KBL) in the East Asia Super League (EASL) inaugural draw in Taguig City on Tuesday, June 28.

Meanwhile, the eventual All-Filipino runners-up were grouped together with the PLeague’s Bay Area Dragons, B. League champion Utsunomiya Brex, and KBL champion Seoul SK Knights in the eight-team, home-and-away tournament set for October 12.

Currently, sister teams San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra hold a share of the top spot in the PBA Season 47 opening conference with identical 4-1 records, while the Blackwater Bossing are right on their tails in a Cinderella run with a 3-1 slate.

Defending Philippine Cup champion TNT Tropang Giga, meanwhile, holds a 5-2 record for solo fourth place.

Once the PBA teams have been determined at the end of the conference, they will soon join East Asia’s best clubs to compete for bragging rights in the region and a whopping $1-million prize.

Each team will get to play six matches within its group before the final four – the top two from each group – compete for the title in the playoffs.

“This is really a special day today bringing together all the stakeholders from the different leagues,” said EASL chief executive officer and founder Matt Beyer. “We are aiming to do something very historic and creating a platform for changing the history of global basketball.”

In line with its partnership with the EASL, the PBA committed to adjust its Commissioner’s Cup schedule slated to start in September to smoothly accommodate the EASL’s first pandemic season.

“It’s a big thing for basketball. We want to thank Mr. Matt Beyer for building this event and this league composing of top Asian leagues and best Asian clubs. We will showcase Asian basketball here in the EASL,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.

Also in attendance during the inaugural draw were B. League chairman Shinji Shimada, KBL commissioner Kim Hee-ok, and NBA champion Metta World Peace, who is currently an EASL ambassador like rising Fil-Am star Jalen Green, and other former NBA mainstays Baron Davis and Shane Battier. – Rappler.com

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