The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) was torn in determining which among four teams to send in the inaugural home-and-away season of the East Asia Super League (EASL) from October 2022 to February 2023.

/ 3 December 2021

PBA will form part of the eight-team cast whereas the first four teams are representatives from the Japan B.League, Korean Basketball League (KBL), Chinese Taipei P. LEAGUE+, and a seeded top Greater China team in Hong Kong SAR, and the other four teams are yet to be determined.

In a virtual conference on Thursday, the PBA and EASL formalize their discussion on the upcoming league in October 2022 whereas Marcial and board chairman Ricky Vargas represented the league in the media briefing.

However, there was no concrete plan in identifying which four teams will represent the country.

Commissioner Willie Marcial believes that it could be based on the order of ranking in the Philippine Cup, but Vargas said that it could be based on drawing lots.

“Hindi pa napag-uusapan (sa Board) yun, pero most likely yung sa Philippine Cup,” Marcial said.

“The simplest way that we talked about is by drawing lots,” said Vargas during the virtual presser. “The other way is also by forming teams around the top four teams, and the other one is we may even consider including in the discussion the Philippine team or the Gilas Pilipinas.”

However, despite no concrete plans of team selection, PBA chairman affirmed that they want to be competitive and whichever four teams to be selected will be the best teams the country has and will provide.

“We want to be competitive, we will be competitive, and that’s the way we look at it,” added the PBA chairman. “Any of the top four teams that will go there will fight to their best.”

“We want to see the best Filipino teams possible and we want to have the best matches possible on a weekly basis,” he said. “We support the PBA’s method for selecting teams, and we’re looking forward to seeing strong Filipino teams taking part in the EASL.”

Teams will be divided into groups of two of four squads each wherein the top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals.

The champions will receive $1 million, $500,000 for runner-up, and $250,000 for third place.

“It’s not all about money, but it’s also about pride, although the prize money is good,” Vargas said. “But we’re a very proud organization and we’d like to be able to prove that we can compete with the best of Asia.”