After forgettable first stint, PBA readies second foray in EASL | Inquirer Sports

After forgettable first stint, PBA readies second foray in EASL

Barangay Ginebra and BayArea will collide anew after their epic seven-game encounter for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Barangay Ginebra and Bay Area will collide anew after their epic seven-game encounter for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The PBA expressed its excitement in once again sending two teams for the second staging of the East Asia Super League (EASL) which starts later this year with a home-and-away format.

And PBA commissioner Willie Marcial also expressed commitment that crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra and TNT, drawn in separate groups on Wednesday, will serve as the best representation of what the league can show against some of the top teams in the region.


“[The] PBA is excited to be taking part in Season 2 [of the EASL], and for our teams to be competing against these great teams from other leagues in East Asia,” Marcial said. “We look forward to hosting visiting teams and fans, and giving them the best hardcourt action that the league and the Philippines have to offer.”


Lopsided defeats absorbed by TNT and San Miguel Beer last March in the week-long affair dubbed “Champions Week” in the Japanese cities of Utsunomiya and Okinawa, marred a forgettable opening act by PBA teams in the EASL.

TNT aims to atone for its own disappointing run when it faces defending champion Anyang KGC, the Korean Basketball League-winning side which has former Letran star Rhenz Abando, Chiba Jets of Japan’s B.League and the Fubon Taipei Braves, three-time rulers of Taiwan’s P.League+.

Maiden stint

TNT Tropang Giga vs Seoul SK Knights EASL

TNT Tropang Giga vs Seoul SK Knights in the Korean Basketball League. –EASL PHOTO

Ginebra will have a familiar foe in its maiden EASL stint, with the Bay Area Dragons among the teams in Group B. The Gin Kings needed a full seven games to edge the Hong Kong outfit for the championship of the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Also seen to provide the Gin Kings a stern test are the B.League champion Ryukyu Golden Kings, who have ex-University of the Philippines mainstay Carl Tamayo, and the Seoul SK Knights, the South Korean club that recently signed globetrotting Filipino guard Juan Gomez de Liaño.

The EASL will finally proceed with its original home-and-away arrangement, with the group stage to start in October before holding its Final Four in March 2024.

Out to do better this time is TNT, which lost by a total of 44 points to the B.League’s Utsonimiya Brex and Seoul to suffer a quick exit in the Champions Week.


San Miguel Beer, on the other hand, was brutally beaten by a combined margin of 83 points, including a 55-point drubbing by Abando and Anyang.

TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa later described the campaign as something he would not like to recall, though the Tropang Giga were undeterred as they eventually won the Governors’ Cup crown.

Defending the title

Ginebra gets a chance to finally test itself against fancied Asian opposition, perhaps greater than what it experienced by facing Bay Area in last season’s midseason tournament.

Abando and Anyang will be out to defend the EASL title it won after winning all three games, capping off with its conquest of Seoul in an all-Korean final.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The Dragons, who were led by imports Myles Powell and Andrew Nicholson, wound up getting third place after prevailing over the Golden Kings in the consolation match.

TAGS: East Asia Super League (EASL), PBA

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.