The PBA Philippine Cup champion is on an early collision course with Gilas Pilipinas standout Rhenz Abando and his new team, the Korean Basketball League runner-up Anyang KGC, in the opening day of the East Asia Super League on Oct. 12.
The all-Filipino conference champions will fly to Korea to usher in the inaugural home-and-away format of the tournament which also features the top teams from Japan, Taiwan and China.
Aside from the PBA champions, the Philippine Cup runner-up will also see action on the opening day, hosting the Bay Area Dragons led by NBA player Andrew Nicholson and 7-foot-5 Chinese center Liu Chuanxing.
The rest of the eight-team field will make their debut on Oct. 16 before the PBA runner-up figures on another collision against Bay Area on the road on Oct. 26. The PBA champion meanwhile will return to action on Nov. 2 against Japan B.League runner-up Ryukyu Golden Kings. Only one EASL game will be played in November to give way for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The PBA runner-up then clashes against B.League champion Utsunomiya Brex, first on the road on Dec. 7 and at home on the 21st before wrapping up its eliminations schedule against Seoul SK Kings on Jan. 11 and 18.
The PBA champs, on the other hand, play P.LEAGUE+ champion Taipei Fubon Braves on Dec. 28 and Jan. 11 before completing its assignments against Anyang on Jan. 28 and Ryukyu on Feb. 1.
The Philippine Cup is now in its semifinals with Meralco taking on San Miguel and Magnolia facing up against TNT in a best-of-seven semifinals affair.