PBA teams join Asia’s best in hunt for $1-M bounty
In going along with the trend of heading the global direction, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) on Wednesday joined the East Asia Super League (EASL) where teams from the best leagues in Asia play home-and-away games for $1 million in prize money.
The inclusion of Asia’s first professional cage league was formally announced in a statement coming from the PBA, which was represented in the signing by chair Ricky Vargas and commissioner Willie Marcial and Meralco board member and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio.
League cofounders Henry Kerins and Matt Beyer, who started the tournament in 2017, welcomed the PBA into their fold.
The PBA had played in the early editions of the EASL, in the 2019 version then known as the Terrific 12 where Blackwater, TNT and powerhouse San Miguel Beer played. That tournament was held in Macau—the site of its first three tournaments.
San Miguel settled for third behind the Liaoning Flying Leopards and Lance Stephenson and the Seoul SK Knights.
Aside from PBA teams, squads from the Japanese B.League, Korean Basketball League, the P.League of Chinese Taipei and a Greater China Team from Hong Kong will be making up the eight-team roster that will play six games each.
The league opens in October next year and will run until March 2023.
The field will be divided into two groups, with the top two squads from each bracket advancing to the Final Four from where the sudden death will start to be used.
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