Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) representatives will have their work cut out for them in the East Asia Super League (EASL) inaugurals in October.
The 2022 Philippine Cup finalists are set to see action in the much-awaited festivities, with the champion pooled in Group A while the runner-up in Group B following the coin-toss draw on Tuesday at Shangri-La The Fort.
Rulers at the end of the ongoing all-Filipino wars will play Anyang KGC of the Korean Basketball League (KBL), Japan B.League’s Ryukyu Golden Kings, and newly-crowned P. League+ champs Taipei Fubon Braves.
On the other hand, the bridesmaid finishers are set to slug it out with reigning titlists Seoul SK Knights, B.League champions Utsonomiya Brex, and another Greater China representative Bay Area Dragons.
The 2022 Philippine Cup is in the middle of its elimination round, with Ginebra and San Miguel Beer sharing the lead in the standings at 4-1.
According to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, the Filipinos will have ample rest heading into their games with it being scheduled right smack of the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“Nag-adjust na kami. Kung may maglalaro sa home and away, one week natin hindi papalaruin yun,” said Marcial. “Kasi aalis ng Monday, practice ng Tuesday sa ibang bansa, laro ng Wednesday, babalik ng Thursday, makaka-praktis pa ng Friday. So isang linggo, ‘di natin sila bibigyan ng laro.
“Nagadjust na tayo. Magaadjust tayo sa schedule ng EASL.”
The EASL format will see teams play home-and-away games within their group — or a total of six matches per team.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the semis, and the two surviving clubs will vie for the title — and the $1 million prize money.
The grouping ceremonies were led by EASL Chief Executive Officer Matt Beyer. He was joined by PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, B.League chairman Shinji Shimada, and KBL commissioner Kim Hee-ok.
Gracing the event as well was NBA champion Metta World Peace, who serves as an ambassador of the league founded in 2016.