East Asia Super League (EASL) has decided to move the host of its Champions Week which is set to take place from March 1-5, 2023.
Instead of playing the games in Manila, the EASL Champions Week will be hosted by Utsunomiya and Ryukyu.
Utsunomiya Nikkan Arena will host six games while Okinawa Arena will host four games and the playoffs.
Reigning PBA Philippine Cup champion San Miguel will face Korean Basketball League runner-up Anyang KGC, Japan B.League second-placer Ryukyu, and P. League+ champs Taipei Fubon in one group while TNT is slotted with KBL titlist Seoul SK, B.League king Utsunomiya, and China’s Bay Area.
The league’s eight teams will battle for the inaugural Champions Week title and the first prize of USD 250,000, with USD 100,000 going to the runner-up and USD 50,000 to the third-place team.
“EASL is honored to be the hub of East Asian basketball, bringing the best of the best of the region’s club teams together in an elite competition, supported by long-term agreements with FIBA and Asia’s top leagues,” said EASL CEO Matt Beyer. “EASL Champions Week in Japan will be unlike anything ever seen before and provide fans with electrifying game actions and a platform for the top leagues and professional teams in the region to gain global exposure.”
Each day of EASL Champions week will feature two marquee match-ups.
EASL Champions Week is finalizing broadcast deals with top indigenous broadcasters in all core EASL geographies, and beyond. Further news on how to tune into EASL Champions Week is coming in soon.
“KBL welcomes the EASL Champions Week in Japan. We wish the Champions Week will be a foundation for a prosperous and stable long term operation of EASL. KBL expects the participating KBL teams in Champions Week to showcase the best of Korean basketball,” said KBL Commissioner Kim Hee Ok.
“We can’t wait to see our top teams head to Japan to compete in East Asia Super League competition,” said PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. “We’re also well aware of the rising popularity of Filipino players and basketball in Japan, and we’re ready to make a strong run for the Championship.”
If two or more teams finish group play with the same win-loss record, a tiebreaker will be implemented. The order of tiebreaker implementation will be as follows: the higher game points difference of all games in the group, followed by the higher number of game points scored in all games in the group.
EASL continues its commitment to providing fans with dynamic behind-the-scenes, in-depth entertainment, and Korean director John H. Lee, top Korean reality production company IGNITE!, together with Steve Nash’s CTRL Media led by Ezra Holland, former CAA China head Jonah Greenberg’s Salty Pictures and Marc Iserlis’s Third Culture Collective will be producing a five-episode, 20-minute per episode series on EASL Champions Week for audiences globally.
EASL will launch its home-and-away format in Fall 2023 for Season 2 of EASL competition, with representative teams qualifying through their current domestic seasons. In Season 3 beginning in Fall 2024, EASL will expand the format to 16 teams and potentially add new leagues and geographies into the EASL.
“Our fans love great basketball and can’t get enough of it,” said P. LEAGUE+’s CEO, Charles Chen. “For the P. LEAGUE+, this Champions Week is an opportunity for our growing league to elevate its level through elite competition, while gaining exposure on a pan-regional stage.”