EASL to stick with 8-team cast despite interest from other leagues

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2022 02:47 PM

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MANILA, Philippines -- The East Asia Super League (EASL) is gaining interest from basketball leagues in the region, even as it has yet to formally launch its season.

This, according to EASL chief executive and co-founder Matt Beyer who bared that he has been fielding inquiries from leagues who were not included as part of the four major groups comprising the initial cast.

"Since we made this global announcement, there have been several leagues all around the region asking to be a part of this. People are paying attention to the concepts, not only in Asia, but all over the world," said Beyer, the former NBA interpreter of Chinese superstar Yi Jianlian.

"It warmed the heart and encouraged me a lot because one of our objectives is to become one of the top 3 leagues in the world in basketball by 2025," he added.

Though grateful for the attention, Beyer said they plan to stick with their eight-team cast for the season that will launch in October.

The EASL intends to feature teams from the PBA, Korean Basketball Association (KBL), Japan B. League, P.League+ of Taiwan, and from Greater China.

Expansion will come by the third season of the league, at the earliest.

"In Season 3, the league will expand into 16 teams and will increase teams from the member leagues," he explained.

"Hopefully, the PBA will feel that this partnership is good, and that they would want to send more teams in the future," he added. "We'll be expanding into new geographies."

The PBA has already agreed to send two of its top four teams, possibly of the Philippine Cup, to the EASL.

The champion team at the end of the four-month, home-and-away tournament will receive a prize of $1 million, while runner-up gets $500,000, and third place $250,000.

Before its formal announcement, the EASL reached a 10-year agreement with FIBA recognizing and supporting to run an annual league for top professional ball clubs in the East Asian region.