Here’s to hoping these teams will atone for the country's previous debacle in the regional league.
When Japanese and Korean teams blasted the San Miguel Beermen and TNT Tropang Giga in the EASL last March, not a few fans expressed their displeasure.
Former PBA commissioner Noli Eala suggested reverting back to a two-conference format. Some even went to the extent of suggesting the PBA should have sent the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, then fresh from their Commissioner’s Cup conquest of the Bay Area Dragons, to Japan instead.
Well now their wish is granted.
Ginebra and TNT, the runners-up and the champions in the Governors’ Cup, respectively, will compete in the EASL home-and-away season beginning in October.
Veteran sports analyst Quinito Henson reported this in an article on The Philippine Star.
Right now, there are already five teams who qualified to the competition namely Korean Basketball League’s Anyang KGC and Seoul SK Knights, Bay Area Dragons, and the aforementioned PBA teams.
They still await the champions and runners-up of the ongoing Japan B.League and Taipei P.League+ seasons.
According to Henson, it will be a Wednesday-only season where each team will play in three away and home games.
Last March, the country’s representatives in TNT and the Beermen had a forgettable showing in the regional tournament that saw the Philippine Cup champs absorb a 142-87 drubbing at the hands of Anyang, which fields Filipino Rhenz Abando as an import.
To be fair, SMB lost main man June Mar Fajardo after suffering a knee injury seconds into the opener against Ryukyu Golden Kings. The Beermen lost, 96-68.
TNT was also not spared from the embarrassment. The Tropang Giga also went home empty-handed after double-digit losses against Utsonomiya Brex and SK Knights.
Ginebra and TNT will look to avenge these stunning losses when they lock horns in the league this October.