By JONAS TERRADO
The PBA officially joined the East Asia Super League’s inaugural competition in 2022 against counterparts from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
A press release announced Wednesday that the PBA is joined by Japan’s B.League, South Korea’s Korean Basketball League and Taiwan’s P.League+ along with a seeded Greater China team in Hong Kong for the tournament set to begin in Oct. 2022.
One million US dollars will be given to the champion team of EASL’s long-planned tourney that has encountered delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eight teams will be split into two groups with 24 games to be held every Wednesday night under a home-and-away format.
The top two squads in each group will advance to the knockout semifinals with the championship game slated in March 2023.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial and Chairman Ricky Vargas had earlier confirmed the league’s entry into the EASL, which previously held pocket tournaments before the pandemic in preparation for an annual regional competition.
Vargas earlier said that two PBA ballclubs will likely take part in the new league.
The EASL also got the support of world governing body FIBA after the two sides forged a 10-year agreement last year.
Following four successful large-scale invitational tournaments from 2017-2019, including the The Terrific 12 two years ago with 117 million viewers on 36 platforms, EASL is proud to take the next step to elevate the sport of basketball in Asia and be Asia’s premier pan-regional league, as well as the most prolific and dynamic Asian basketball storytellers in the digital world for our majority Gen Z and young Millennial fanbase.