PHILIPPINE Basketball Association teams will pit their skills at the Terrific 12 East Asia Super League (EASL) in Macau, China, next month.
Newly minted PBA Commissioner’s Cup champions San Miguel Beermen, the TNT KaTropa and Blackwater Elite take part in the 12-team EASL happening from Sept. 17-22 at the Tap Seac Multisports Pavilion.
Dubbed The Terrific 12, the FIBA-recognized basketball tournament features three clubs from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), four from the B.LEAGUE (Japan), two from the Korean Basketball League (KBL) and three from the PBA.
Apart from the Beermen, the KaTropa and the Elite, other participating teams in the EASL are the Liaoning Flying Leopards, the Shenzhen Aviators, and the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions from China; the Chiba Jets, the Niigata Albirex, the Ryukyu Golden Kings and the Utsunomiya Brex from Japan; the Jeonju KCC Egis and the Seoul SK Knights from Korea.
Tournament format will see 16 total games played in three stages — the Group Stage, Semifinals and Finals.
In the Group Stage, clubs will be divided into four groups of three, with each team playing two games. The top team from each group will advance to compete in the Semifinals following a rest day on Sept. 20.
The champion will be awarded $150,000, the runner-up will be awarded $100,000 and the third place will be awarded $50,000.
For the tournament, San Miguel will be reinforced by imports Dez Wells and Lester Prosper. Mr. Wells will be the team’s import in the season-ending PBA Governor’s Cup while Mr. Prosper was one of the top reinforcements in the Commissioner’s Cup while playing for the Columbian Dyip.
The Beermen though would miss the services of June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter for the Terrific 12 as the former is expected to rest after his tour of duty with Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup in China while the latter rests and recovers from knee injury.
TNT, runner-up in the Commissioner’s Cup, will be bannered by former National Basketball Association campaigner KJ McDaniels.
For Blackwater, Alex Stepheson returns to banner the team with Aaron Fuller. To recall, Mr. Stepheson was the import of the Elite in the Commissioner’s Cup and led the team to a strong 5-1 record before leaving for the United States for a medical emergency.
The Super League started in Macau in 2017 with eight teams participating in Summer Super 8. Last year the number of teams grew to 12 and began to be known as the Terrific 12. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo