San Miguel, TNT brace for Japan stint

The Beermen and the Tropang Giga will participate in the inaugural Champions Week in which the winner will get to take home $250,000 – or nearly P14 million. Photo by Rio Deluvio

San Miguel Beer and TNT Tropang Giga are expected to be at their best when they represent the country in the East Asia Super League Champions Week from 1 to 5 March in Japan.

The Beermen and the Tropang Giga will join six other teams in the inaugural Champions Week in which the winner will get to take home $250,000 – or nearly P14 million.

The Utsunomiya Brex will host the first six games of the group stage while the Ryukyu Golden Kings will organize the next four as well as the championship and battle for third on 5 March.

Aside from PBA powerhouse teams San Miguel and TNT Tropang Giga as well as Japanese superpowers Utsunomiya and Ryukyu, also seeing action are the Bay Area Dragons of Hong Kong, Taipei Fubon Braves of Chinese Taipei, and Seoul SK Knights and Anyang KGC of South Korea.

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

“EASL Champions Week in Japan will be unlike anything ever seen before and provide fans with electrifying games and a platform for the top leagues and professional teams in the region to gain global exposure.”

Each team will play two group stage games for a total of eight games from 1 to 4 March.

The first three group stage game days will be held in Utsunomiya Nikkan Arena while the final day will be held at Okinawa Arena.

The top two teams from each group advance to play in a Championship and third place game, also in Okinawa.

“We can’t wait to see our top teams head to Japan to compete in East Asia Super League,” PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said.

“We’re also well aware of the rising popularity of Filipino players and basketball in Japan, and we’re ready to make a strong run for the championship.”

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