PBA, EASL still in talks for 2021 plans

Published December 4, 2020, 6:52 PM

by Carlo Anolin

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial bared Thursday that representatives from the East Asia Super League have laid out plans for possible partnerships in the future.

Speaking to select sportswriters inside the bubble in Pampanga, Marcial said EASL CEO Matt Beyer and chief financial officer Henry Kerins made a presentation to the complete members of the Board of Governors via Zoom conference on the same day.

The PBA chief, however, clarified that the board has yet to finalize and approve the proposal including the schedule, tournament format, and participating teams.

“Pinag-aaralan nang mabuti ng PBA, ng board kasi ongoing ‘yung season [by that time],” said Marcial. “Tingnan natin kung papaano. Ang daming questions ng board lalo si chairman [Ricky Vargas] at boss Al Panlilio.”

Last August, the league welcomed the announcement of world governing body FIBA reaching a 10-year agreement with the EASL to hold a home-and-away tournament featuring teams from the PBA and East Asia, particularly from China, Japan and South Korea.

The EASL is set to kick off in October next year, a month after the FIBA Asia Champions Cup, with the Final Four and championship game set every February.

NLEX and Blackwater participated in the Super 8 tourney in 2018 before San Miguel Beer, TNT and Blackwater joined last year’s Terrific 12.

The Road Warriors and the Beermen finished fourth in both tournaments in Macau.

“EASL is thrilled to receive FIBA’s support for the launch of our league. With top teams from the Greater China region, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines, we are confident it will become one of the top professional basketball competitions in the world by 2025,” said Beyer in a previous statement.