The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) named 12 players who will serve as league ambassadors for the inaugural season of the East Asia Super League (EASL) next year.

/ 31 December 2021

The PBA named a player from each of its 12 teams who will be carrying the name of their respective ball clubs, competing with the top professional clubs from the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

Topping the list are San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, Magnolia’s Paul Lee, and Barangay Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson that are given the chance to vie for the $1 million grand prize.

Barangay Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson, Phoenix’s Matthew Wright, TNT’s Roger Pogoy, and Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood are also given the task as ambassadors. 

Completing the list are Meralco’s Chris Newsome, Kevin Alas of NLEX, NorthPort’s Kevin Ferrer, Alaska’s Jeron Teng, Blackwater’s Baser Amer, and Terrafirma’s Juami Tiongson.

The PBA also tapped Jared Dillinger of Ginebra as a special addition to the list after EASL promoted his viral videos documenting life inside the first-ever PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga last year.

“There is something about international competitions. Bragging rights are on the line going up against Asia’s best clubs,” Dillinger opined.

“The extra cherry on top is representing your country. It brings out your competitive nature and the pride of proving you’re better. EASL will bring people together. Fans from different countries will be under one roof and I’m excited for the PBA and EASL joining forces,” he added.

Fajardo, Pogoy, and Alas already have experienced the competition in the EASL, which banners top ball clubs from the PBA, Japan B.League, the Korean Basketball League, and the P. League+.

Pogoy and Fajardo became part of the Terrific 12 tournament in the 2019 edition along with their respective teams, TNT and San Miguel, although the 6-foot-10 Fajardo didn’t play owing to an injury.

Meanwhile, Alas saw action for NLEX during the EASL Super Eight Tournament in 2017.

The EASL season is scheduled for October 2022.