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PBA aims to send competitive team in EASL, Gilas also part of plans

The Philippine Basketball Association is looking at various options as it aims to send a competitive team in the East Asia Super League’s (EASL) inaugural season next year.

Aside from the original plan of drawing lots among the best four finishers of the conference yet to be determined, the league is also mulling over the idea of forming a selection with players coming from those four ball clubs.

Or, Gilas Pilipinas could simply be the one to represent the country. The league is also looking at the possibility of sending the national team, still as part of its commitment to help the program in whatever way it can.

PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas disclosed all that Thursday when the two leagues held a virtual presser to formally announce their partnership. The event was also graced by Commissioner Willie Marcial and EASL CEO Matt Beyer.

“The simplest way that we talked about is by drawing lots. The other way is also by forming teams around the Top Four teams and the other one is we may even consider including the Philippine team,” he said.

“We want to be competitive–we will be competitive and that’s how we look at it,” added Vargas, also the team governor of TNT Tropang Giga.

Beyer, for his part, expressed full support in whatever route Asia’s pioneering professional league will take in sending a representative.2018-asia-league-terrific-12-matt-beyer PBA aims to send competitive team in EASL, Gilas also part of plans Basketball EASL Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

“I would just like to say a big thumbs up to what Chairman Ricky just said. Because it’s all about being competitive. That’s what the fans want to see,” he said.

“We want to see the best Filipino teams possible.

“And, we want to have the best matches possible on a weekly basis,” furthered Beyer. “So, we support the PBA’s method for selecting teams, and we’re looking forward to strong Filipino teams taking part in the EASL.”

Two PBA teams will be sent, and they will be slugging it out with six other ball clubs coming from the Japan B.LEAGUE, Korean Basketball League, P.LEAGUE+ of Taiwan, and a seeded top Greater China team in Hong Kong.

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The eight teams will be divided into two groups and will play in a home-and-away set-up. The group stage will be held from October 2022-March 2023.

The top two squads from each group will advance to the Final Four and will play in the knockout semis. The last teams standing will then duke it out in the March championships, where USD 1 million is at stake.

“We are ready, the PBA is ready, and any of the four top teams that will go there, we assure you that we’ll fight to the best,” assured Vargas.

“It’s not about money, it’s also about pride. But the money is good. But we are a proud organization and we’d like to be able to prove we can compete with the best in Asia,” closed the long-time sports executive.

Written By

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

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