TOP-CLASS Asian club basketball action takes center stage beginning today as the East Asia Super League — Terrific 12 tournament unfolds in Macau, China, with ESPN5 bringing the proceedings live in the country.

Happening from Sept. 17–22 at the Tap Seac Multi-Sport Pavilion in Macau, The Terrific 12 will gather some of the top teams in the region, including Philippine Basketball Association champion teams San Miguel Beermen and TNT KaTropa and Blackwater Elite.

The six-day tournament will also see Liaoning Flying Leopards, Shenzhen Aviators, and Zhejiang Guangsha Lions from China; Chiba Jets, Niigata Albirex, Ryukyu Golden Kings and Utsunomiya Brex from Japan; and Jeonju KCC Egis and Seoul SK Knights from Korea.

Now on its third year, the Terrific 12 has grown in stature and scope with 22 networks set to cover it on major global broadcast and streaming platforms this year, including ESPN5 for the Philippines.

In the tournament, the ball clubs will be grouped into four brackets with the top team from each group advancing to the semifinals scheduled on Sept. 21.

The finals will be played on Sept. 22 with the champion going home with a $150,000 prize. The runner-up will receive $100,000 while second runner-up gets $50,000.

The Beermen will have majority of their champion team in harness for the tournament, backstopped by imports Dez Wells and Lester Prosper, who impressed with his performance with the Columbian Dyip in the recent PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

TNT will have old reliable Jayson Castro leading the way, helped by reinforcements McKenzie Moore and KJ McDaniels.

Blackwater, for its part, will have do-it-all rookie Ray Parks, Jr., joined by imports Alex Stepheson and Marqus Blakely.

The PBA teams are using the tournament as well as part of their preparations for the PBA Governors’ Cup which tips off later this week.

Also set to see action in the tournament are former National Basketball Association campaigners Lance Stephenson and Shabazz Muhammad.

Apart from ESPN5, Terrific 12 games can also be seen over ESPN YouTube Live. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo