MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) on Wednesday unveiled the 12 players who will serve as the league's ambassadors to the East Asia Super League (EASL).
The 12 represent each PBA member team and act as faces of the league to the soon-to-be launched meet that has a home-and-away format.
Paul Lee of Magnolia, Barangay Ginebra's Scottie Thompson, Jeron Teng of Alaska, TNT's Roger Pogoy, Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine, and June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel are among those chosen as ambassadors carrying the name of their respective ballclubs.
Completing the list are Matthew Wright of Phoenix, Chris Newsome of Meralco, Terrafirma's Juami Tiongson, Kevin Ferrer of NorthPort, Baser Amer of Blackwater, and NLEX's Kevin Alas.
Jared Dillinger of Ginebra was a special addition to the list of ambassadors as his viral videos documenting the life inside the first ever PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga last year was promoted by EASL.
"There is something about international competitions. Bragging rights are on the line going up against Asia's best clubs," Dillinger said.
"The extra cherry on top is representing your country. It brings out your competitive nature and the pride of proving you're better. EASL will bring people together. Fans from different countries will be under one roof and I'm excited for the PBA and EASL joining forces," he guaranteed.
Of the chosen PBA ambassadors, Fajardo and Pogoy have already seen firsthand the kind of competition in the EASL, as their teams competed in the 2019 Terrific 12. Fajardo, however, was a spectator in the tournament as he sat out due to injury.
Alas, on the other hand, suited up for NLEX during the EASL Super Eight Tournament in 2017.
The EASL, which launches in 2022, features ball clubs from the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association), PBA, Japan B League, KBL (Korean Basketball League), and the P. League+.