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Asia League

GAB chair Mitra opens door to EASL

The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) expressed excitement over the East Asia Super League (EASL) and its new tournament featuring the top ball clubs from China, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines.

GAB has voiced its strong support to the EASL, which earlier this month wrote a letter to the country’s regulatory body for professional sports asking permission to hold some games here for its competitions.

The EASL has staged the Summer Super 8 and the Terrific 12 over the last three years.

The tournament will run a home-and-away format a la Basketball Champions League, from October 2021 to January 2022, featuring eight teams.

“We’re very happy that a proposal such as this came in,” said GAB Chairman Baham Mitra in a virtual presser streamed via Facebook Live, Monday.

“I understand that this is already existing, and some PBA teams have already played in the league. But for the first time next year, they’re gonna come over and play here. So we’re really excited about that.”

Mitra proudly shared that while the PBA features the best Filipino cagers, he also looks forward to the opportunity to see some of Asia’s finest hoopers up close when games take place here.

“We have big Filipino superstars in the PBA. But we hope we get entertained, educated, and learn from the players from the rest of Asia. As I gathered, there will also be imports, so it’s going to be very exciting, very entertaining,” he said.

Mitra said that GAB is honored to have been approached by the EASL, which was founded by its CEO Matt Beyer back in 2016 with the vision of further developing the game of basketball in the region.

“You approaching us is an honor for us to be of service to you and of course the Filipino people,” said the former Palawan governor. “And what we can do to assist you, please just let us know. In any way we can help, we will help.”

Beyer, meanwhile, is grateful to receive the nod of GAB, which has been actively helping pro sports here in the country get back on its feet in the midst of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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“It’s special,” he said. “For us, it’s an honor to have the vote of confidence from GAB. It’s a game-changer.

“Being an international regional company as ourselves, it’s one thing to have a vision and to have a plan, but to really have strong, local partnerships and to be involved with people in charge of bringing all the entertainment to the people of the Philippines is an honor. It’s a necessary alliance for our business, so we’re honored to be here and have the Chairman’s support in this.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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