East Asia Super League (EASL) has scrapped its original format due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, the league announced Monday.
Season 1 of the home-and-away tournament would have started on October 12, with separate games taking place in South Korea and Manila.
2022 PBA Philippine Cup champions San Miguel Beer would battle Rhenz Abando and Anyang KGC of the KBL on the road. Meanwhile, TNT was scheduled to host the Bay Area Dragons at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
EASL CEO Matt Beyer, meanwhile, said that discussions of staging a ‘Champions Week’ instead in Manila by early 2023 are taking place.
“Our mission remains to create the premier basketball league and entertainment experience in Asia, elevating the sport in the region,” he said.
“Controlling variables and operating our season in the most responsible manner reduces uncertainty for all our stakeholders as international travel throughout the region rebounds incrementally,” he added.
The planned tournament will still feature all eight qualified teams – SMB, TNT, Bay Area; KBL champions Seoul SK Knights and Anyang; B.League titlist Utsonomiya Brex and Ryukyu; and P. League+ king Taipei Fubon.
EASL said that it will shift to the home-and-away format in Fall 2023. It added that it is still on pace to reach its goal despite the development.
“EASL remains on track that by 2025 the league will become one of the world’s top three professional basketball leagues in terms of fan base and commercial revenue,” the league said.