All you need to know about the EASL Champion’s Week
UTSUNOMIYA, JAPAN — Eight powerhouse clubs duke it out in the East Asia Super League’s Champion’s Week that will dangle both a mouthwatering cash prize and bragging rights.
WHAT’S THE CHAMPIONS WEEK?
The Champions Week is a five-day showcase that was put together as a workaround for the EASL’s regular season that was scheduled back in October and was scratched by the pandemic-related issues throughout the region.
The EASL was also the same league behind the Super 8, which featured the NLEX and Blackwater franchises, along with the Terrific 12 which invited San Miguel Beer and TNT. Those two tournaments were staged in Macau.
WHICH TEAMS ARE PLAYING?
Four champion teams and three runners-up from different professional leagues in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are seeing action in the five-day tilt that will begin in Tochigi prefecture and will culminate in Okinawa.
These teams are San Miguel Beermen, TNT Tropang Giga of the Philippine Basketball Association, Utsunomiya Brex and Ryukyu Golden Kings of the B.League, Seoul SK Knights and Anyang KGC of the Korean Basketball League and Taipei Fubon Braves of the Taiwanese P League+.
EASL will be fielding its own team, the Bay Area Dragons, who Filipino cage fans will remember as the guest team in the last Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
Teams are going to be divided into two groups and will play each other once. In the event of a tie in the standings, the EASL will be turning to Fiba’s tiebreaker system to determine classification.
WHO ELSE IS THERE TO WATCH?
Other clubs worth watching are Anyang KGC, which has former Letran star and NCAA Rookie-Most Valuable Player Rhenz Abando. Then there’s also the Ryukyu Golden Kings, who have former Meralco reinforcement and 3-time PBA import Allen Durham, along with ex-State U star and UAAP Rookie of the Year Carl Tamayo.
There’s also Yuta Tabuse, best known as the first-ever Japanese to play in the National Basketball Association.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
A whopping $250,000 (about P14 million) will go to the grand winner. The second placer pockets $100,000, while the third placer $50,000 (roughly P6M and P3M, respectively).
WHEN AND HOW CAN WE WATCH THE GAMES?
The tournament kicks off March 1 with double headers each day at the Brex’s home arena. The winner of the two groups advances to the you-or-me set on March 6.
Both the championship game and the battle for third place will be played at Okinawa Arena.
Filipino fans could follow the games live on television via One Sports and One Sports+.