PBA teams learn fate in inaugural EASL

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2022 06:13 PM

NBA great Metta World Peace Handout photo
NBA great Metta World Peace graces the EASL drawing of lots Tuesday as he joins (from left) PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, EASL CEO Matt Beyer, KBL commissioner Kim Hee Ok, and B. League chairman Shinji Shimada. Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines -- The finalists of the PBA Philippine Cup learned their fates when the East Asia Super League (EASL) held its inaugural grouping ceremony, Tuesday afternoon at Shangri-La at The Fort.

Eight teams will see action in the first full season of the EASL, which starts on October 12. 

The teams are separated into two groups of four, with the top two in each group advancing to the Final 4. The teams will play each other in a round-robin, home-and-away format.

"Come October 12, when the games start, the dream is over, and this is going to be a reality. So let's be terrific together," EASL founder Matt Beyer said during the event, which was attended by representatives of the five different leagues involved.

The PBA will be represented by the champion and runners-up of the on-going 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.

The All-Filipino champions will be in Group A, together with Anyang KGC, the runners-up of the recent Korean Basketball League, and the Ryukyu Golden Kings, also the runners-up in the Japan B.League. Completing the group are the Taipei Fubon Braves, the champions of the P. League+.

Meanwhile, the All-Filipino runners-up will be in Group B together with KBL champions Seoul SK Knights, B.League champions Utsunomiya Brex, and the Bay Area Dragons of Hong Kong. 

"The PBA is so excited to join this league," PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said. "We want to thank Mr. Matt Beyer for building this league, composed of the top Asian leagues and the best Asian clubs. We will showcase Asian basketball here in the EASL."

"We are so excited, and we will give the other teams a run for their money," he guaranteed.

Gracing the event were KBL commissioner Kim Hee Ok, B. League chairman Shinji Shimada, and Francesco Berre, the strength and conditioning coach of the Dragons. 

Also present was former NBA star Metta World Peace, one of the ambassadors of the EASL.

At stake in the EASL is a prize money of $1M to the champion.