EASL eyes enhanced fan experience for PBA teams’ home games
MANILA, Philippines–The East Asia Super League (EASL) wants to make sure that the two participating teams from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will have a unique environment for their home games.
EASL CEO Matt Beyer said Thursday that plenty of plans aimed at enhancing fan experience are in store for the first game in the country on Nov. 1 when the TNT Tropang Giga host the Japan B.League’s Chiba Jets in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
“We are trying to create a special atmosphere,” Beyer said in an online press conference, adding that plans include having live entertainment, barber chairs, make-up stations, plus a “mud wrestling with a carabao.”
But the match will be held on the day the country observes All Saints’ Day, which poses a challenge for the EASL to have at least a solid turnout.
Six games will be staged in the Philippines, with the Tropang Giga and the Meralco Bolts hosting three each during the group phase that runs until February.
One TNT match and two from Meralco are going to be held at Philsports Arena in Pasig City while venues for two more will be known at a later date.
“What we want to do is just make it put a stamp on it just like other geographies that the experience is uniquely Philippines and that’s really important,” said Beyer.
TNT lost to Chiba, 93-75, that ushered in the start of the EASL campaign last Oct. 15 in Japan, and the champions of last season’s PBA Governors’ Cup are keen on exacting revenge, should their fitness level improve.
Chiba leads Group A with a 2-0 record after defeating the Taipei Fubon Braves on the road last week.
Meralco pinched hit for Barangay Ginebra after the PBA’s crowd darlings had to withdraw due to a number of its players and even coach Tim Cone having commitments with Gilas Pilipinas in the Hangzhou Asian Games.