PBA opts to wait for vaccine availability before considering EASL participation

Published January 28, 2021, 10:08 PM

by Jonas Terrado

The PBA said that its participation in the East Asia Super League will depend on the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the league is not closing its doors on the EASL despite putting on hold plans to participate in the new continental competition featuring top teams from China, South Korea and Japan.

“Hinihintay natin ang vaccine kaya naka-hold muna yung position to join the EASL. Pag nandyan na ang vaccine, mag-uusap ulit kami,” Marcial said after Thursday’s first PBA board meeting for 2021.

“Pero hindi namin kinoclose ang EASL,” added Marcial.

The EASL is hoping to get the ball rolling in October with a home-and-away group stage format that culminates with a Final Four and a championship game in February next year.

EASL CEO Matt Beyer said he had already secured the commitments of Japan’s B.League and South Korea’s KBL to send their top teams.

PBA teams have competed in mini-tournaments organized by the league, namely the Super 8 and Terrific 12 which was last played in Macau in 2019.

Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy, a strong backer of the EASL, had earlier suggested sending Philippine Cup champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and losing finalist TNT to the competition.