East Asia Super League Debuts Season 1 of Premier Home-and-Away Pan-Regional League in 2022

7 minute read

EASL formalizes multi-year partnerships with Japan B.LEAGUE, Korea KBL, Philippine PBA and Chinese Taipei P. LEAGUE+ and forms top team in Hong Kong SAR

 

Hong Kong SAR, December 1, 2021 – East Asia Super League (EASL) has announced the format of its inaugural home-and-away season pan-regional format, beginning October 2022, with eight teams from the Japan B.LEAGUE, Korea KBL, Philippines PBA and the Chinese Taipei P. LEAGUE+, as well as a top team the league is seeding in Hong Kong SAR, featuring players from Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Chinese Taipei.

With the support of a ten-year agreement with FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, granting FIBA Asia’s recognition, EASL has formed East Asia’s first club league to determine the region’s champion, which will win a USD 1 million prize and the title of being the champion of EASL.

“EASL is honored to be the hub of East Asian basketball, bringing the best of the best of the region’s club teams together in an elite competition, supported by long-term agreements with FIBA and Asia’s top leagues,”

 

said EASL CEO Matt Beyer.

 

“Our mission is to be East Asia’s premier basketball league, with a vision to be one of the top three leagues globally by 2025 in terms of fan base and commercial revenue.”

 

EASL’s Season 1 of home-and-away competition will have eight teams in total, playing with a 12-man roster with two foreign players and an additional Asian player. The champions and runners-up from the previous Japan B.LEAGUE, Korea KBL and Philippines PBA seasons will qualify to compete in EASL. The newly formed Bay Area Chun Yu Phoenixes and the championship team from Chinese Taipei’s P.LEAGUE+, will be the Greater China representatives.

 

“In line with the global FIBA strategic objective to shape international competitions, the FIBA Executive Committee has backed the formation of East Asia Super League. The smooth and professional cooperation during the past several years between EASL and our Regional Office Asia as well as with our National Federations and Leagues in the region, has paved the way to recognise this dynamic competition platform, that will fit well with FIBA’s club properties in Asia and worldwide.” said FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis.

 

“In the spirit of the development of basketball in East Asia, the FIBA Asia Board fully backed the formation of East Asia Super League. This new competition has the potential to enrich the road to the FIBA Asia Champions Cup, the continent’s highest club competition and will act as good complement to it, providing a great basketball platform for clubs in the East-Asia Sub-Zone of FIBA and the Philippines.” said FIBA Executive Director Asia Hagop Khajirian.

 

The eight teams split into two groups of four play a round-robin format. Each team plays a home and away game against their group, six games each, for a total of 24 games during group stage from October 2022 to February 2023, with two EASL Group Stage games taking place every Wednesday night. The top two teams in the standings from each group advance to the Final Four and play in sudden death Final Four and Championship matches in March 2023.

 

The Final Four Weekend will take place in one of East Asia’s premier cities, featuring a music festival and a variety of fan activation activities. The Final Four Weekend will rotate on an annual basis. In EASL’s Season 3, the number of league teams will increase to 16, including expansion into new geographies and forging alliances with additional leagues.Created to represent Greater China in EASL league games, with the support of Hong Kong Basketball Association, as well as travel to play top teams across the region and world, the newly formed Bay Area Chun Yu Phoenixes franchise is dedicated to be the top professional basketball team in the Greater China region with a combination of top free agents from Hong Kong SAR, Mainland China, Macau SAR and Chinese Taipei, as well as one Asian import and two foreign import players, making up its dynamic roster. The Bay Area Chun Yu Phoenixes will be coached by an elite head coach with decades of head coaching experience and managed by Liu Quansheng, who spent more than two decades in the China Basketball Association as a Finals-level general manager, head coach and player.

 

“B.LEAGUE is strategically planning to grow not only in Japan but also across the region, and we believe that working with EASL will help B.LEAGUE to expand its market in Asia. We also believe that participating in EASL will dramatically raise the level of international competition in Japanese professional basketball,” said Japan B.LEAGUE Chairman Shinji Shimada.

 

EASL has built large momentum going into Season 1 of home-and-away competition following four successful single-site invitational tournaments hosted in Macau SAR between 2017 and 2019. EASL’s last weeklong tournament, The Terrific 12, in September 2019 experienced a 117 million viewership and a sold-out arena daily.

 

“The KBL warmly welcomes the long-term alliance with EASL. In a globalized world, international competition and exchange will increase the level of basketball among Korean players,” said KBL Commissioner Kim Heeok. “We expect EASL to become the strongest club competition in East Asia and shall meet the demand and expectations of the Korean fans.”

 

EASL has received buy ins from some of basketball’s most established statesmen, securing investment, as well as brand ambassador and strategic advisory support from NBA stars Baron Davis, Metta World Peace and Shane Battier, as well as top sports industry businesspeople, including NBA agent Bill Duffy, and blue chip institutional sports-focused funds, including The Raine Group, as well as Asia’s top family offices and high net worth individuals.

 

“As Asia’s oldest professional basketball league, the PBA and the Philippines’ passionate fan base have an unquenchable thirst for premier basketball competition,” said Philippines PBA Board Chairman Ricky Vargas. “Our top teams and players are ecstatic about the opportunity to play against regional rival leagues weekly in EASL games, proving ourselves in such an exciting competition.”

 

“Our fans love high-level basketball and can’t get enough of it,” said P. LEAGUE+’s CEO, Charles Chen. “For the P. LEAGUE+, EASL is an opportunity for our growing league to elevate its level through elite competition, while gaining exposure on a pan-regional stage.”

 

“This one-of-a-kind Bay Area Chun Yu Phoenixes franchise will bring together the best talent in Greater China in one club. Hong Kong is one of China’s most international cities, a key part of China’s Greater Bay Area, and we are confident that this franchise will be exciting to watch for all Chinese fans. With China’s National Games coming to Hong Kong in 2025 and a greater emphasis on international sports events by the SAR government, the environment is ripe for our success,” said Bay Area Chun Yu Phoenixes General Manager Liu Quansheng.

 

EASL recognizes that East Asia’s recovery from the pandemic is ongoing and is well capitalized by strong investors to weather any potential delays to the Season 1 start moving forward, with the unwavering support of FIBA, FIBA Regional Office Asia and the partner leagues. EASL management currently remains strongly optimistic that Season 1 of home-and-away competition will begin in October 2022.

 

 

For more information about EASL, please go to www.easl.basketball.

 

For more information about the newly formed Bay Area Chun Yu Phoenixes club, please go to www.phoenixes.basketball.

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