Dec 02, 2021

PBA ready to send competitive teams in EASL

THE PBA vowed to send the best possible teams that will represent the league when the East Asia Super League (EASL) launches its home-and-away tournament next year.

Board Chairman Ricky Vargas and Commissioner Willie Marcial made the assurance after the league formalized its partnership with EASL as its new member league set to compete for the US 1 million prize money at stake in the pan-regional met to be launched in October of 2022.

Asia's oldest cage league is allotted two slots in the tournament to be determined out of the top four teams from the previous conference prior to the EASL launching.

Both Vargas and Marcial said the league is not taking anything to chance as it looks forward of having the best team representation which can compete with the best in the Asian region.

"We love basketball and it's legendary in our DNA," stressed Vargas during the virtual press conference announcing the partnership. "I think the PBA has also something to prove, that it is the best in Asia, and we do have the talent to be able to compete in this league."

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EASL CEO and co-founder Matt Beyer also graced the media briefing and said the league is in full support with whatever move the PBA does to ensure sending a strong, competitive representatives.

"We're looking forward seeing really strong PBA teams taking part in the EASL," Beyer added. "We want to see the best Filipino teams possible and we want to have the best matches possible on a weekly basis."

Aside from the PBA, other leagues represented in the EASL are those from the Japan B LEAGUE, Korean Basketball League (KBL), Chinese Taipei P. LEAGUE+, and a seeded top Greater China team in Hong Kong SAR.

All eight teams to be divided into two groups, will play under a home-and-away format during a group stage to be held from October 2022 to February of 2023.

Each team plays a home-and-away game in their group or six games each, for a total of 24 games during the four-month group stage, with two games taking place every Wednesday night.

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The top two teams from each group advance to the Final Four and play in sudden death semifinals and championship matches on March 2023.

The EASL just recently signed a 10-year agreement with FIBA. (RG)